Engaging Professionals at Ithaca College (EPIC)

Office Professionals Certificate Program


Engaging Professionals at Ithaca College (EPIC) is a competency-based program designed to provide administrative support professionals with comprehensive skills, resources and other time-saving techniques for meeting job challenges and achieving unit priorities. The curriculum will include sessions on writing, communication, service excellence, interpersonal skills, time management, performance and goal setting. Through open discussions, practical exercises and homework assignments, participants will develop competencies and techniques that will enable them to:

  • Assess and improve listening, writing, and oral communication skills
  • Produce concisely written documents that focus on intended audience, clearly developed ideas, and free of grammatical and punctuation errors
  • Identify essential elements of service excellence and adapt own behavior and style of communication to build rapport with others
  • Apply new techniques and tools for effectively communicating with individuals and groups to resolve conflicts and build relationships
  • Identify steps and components of the College’s performance review process, and learn strategies for writing and participating in effective performance discussions

Program Content:

► Listening Skills: Few people use active listening in their conversations. Most of us listen at several different levels over the course of a day, but the more we practice active listening, the more effective we will be in human relationships whether at work or home.  Participants will review tips for being able to concentrate and remember what the other person has said.  Telephone etiquette is one useful application of listening skills.  This interactive workshop focuses on both the basics and complexities of listening.

► Writing Effectively: Writing information, especially through email, in a professional and well-organized message is crucial for any job. Whether writing an e-mail, formal letter, memo, a report, or performance review, your writing must be clear and engaging. Using interactive and small group exercises and assignments, participants will learn the critical skills to improve communication, eliminate grammar and punctuation errors, and gain practical skills for effective business writing.

► Conflict/Difficult Conversation: With so many interactions during the course of a day, it’s reasonable to expect that some of them are going to be difficult. Whether these are conversations you have in person, over the telephone, or on a team, there are things that you can do to make these conversations go smoothly.  This interactive session will give you the tools to manage conflict and difficult situations to get the best results possible.

► Service Excellence: Customer service is no longer a one-size-fits-all proposition. The success of every organization depends on how each individual connects with the organization’s stakeholders – management, supervisors, colleagues, students, and external customers.  You are the link and key player in each of these connections. This hands-on, highly energetic workshop offers skills, tools and practical applications for working effectively with internal and external customers.

► Performance Management: Performance review gives you a unique opportunity to discuss your work and the impact of all your efforts during the past year and to look forward to the coming year.  The key to getting the most out of your review is preparation.  Participants will discuss the importance of feedback, practice writing a self-assessment, setting SMART goals, and writing an individual development plan for improved performance, self-development, and career management.

► Time Management: Getting the most out of every hour in a day is a constant challenge in our busy work world: an overflowing inbox, numerous emails, constant interruptions, meetings and on and on.  Awareness of how we spend our time is a critical component to being able to successfully manage one's time. Although this program will not give you more hours in a day, you will learn to assess current time use, practical ways of prioritizing, and identify helpful time management tips to eliminate time wasters.

Note:  Participants must obtain approval from their supervisor to be considered for this program.

Certificate Requirements: Attendance and successful completion of all sessions is required to receive a certificate of completion.

Session Dates for Fall, 2014 coming soon!