Personnel Office expands course offerings for employees


The Personnel Office's Training and Development Program for fall is both bigger and better this year.

There are 17 new courses being offered, and the catalog (often referred to as "the yellow book" because of its cover) includes a useful section at the front that groups courses into six broad categories. These include skill development, interpersonal communication, competencies, individual development, teams and groups, and leadership.

"Based on a needs assessment of the MIT community, we've expanded the offerings on communications with four new courses," said Margaret Ann Gray, manager of training and development. "Another major new program we're very excited about is the Financial Management Training Series, which falls under the skill development category."

This series of financial offerings was developed to address the commu-nity's desire for ongoing financial management training for both new and current MIT staff. The initial courses include an Accounting Fundamentals class, presentations on regulations for sponsored programs, and courses on pre- and post-awards for sponsored programs.

These new financial courses were designed by teams composed of employees from central financial areas and end users throughout the Institute. Susan Ziemba, instructional course designer in the Performance Consulting and Training team, was the project manager.

The class that's relevant to the largest number of MIT employees is Accounting Fundamentals. It's a one-day course that will be offered six times over a four-month period. Each class will be taught by two instructors, one from the Controller's Accounting Office (CAO) and one who does financial work in a department, lab or center.

In addition to basic accounting principles and terminology, the course will cover the general format and flow of MIT's accounting process and the relationship between the end user and central accounting. Participants will be actively involved in exercises illustrating the accounting process in action, particularly double entry accounting and monthly report reconciliation.

"This class will be very helpful for people who want to develop an understanding of MIT's accounting policies and procedures," said Jim Morgan, controller. "Also, I think the class almost makes accounting fun."

The sponsored programs courses include pre- and post-awards as well as three separate two-hour presentations on specialized topics such as the terms of federal partnerships, cost principles, and rates for facilities and administrative costs, employee benefits and allocations. Courses will be taught by staff from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), CAO and financial staff from departments, labs and centers.

"These courses were designed for anyone whose duties include budget preparation, award management, or initiating and monitoring expenditures on sponsored programs," said Julie Norris, director of OSP. "They would be valuable both for experienced staff and those with limited exposure to grant and contract matters."

A few of the other new courses this year include Communicating in Difficult Situations, Competency-Based Selection, Reaching Goals, Developing Performance Measures and Collaborative Partnering.

The Training and Development Programs catalog was mailed to all employees earlier this month. There is no departmental charge for the courses, and supervisors are encouraged to promote the professional development of their employees by recommending enrollment in these and other classes.

An on-line registration form can be found on the Training and Development web site. Employees who have questions about the registration process or about courses in the catalog may call x3-4253 or send e-mail to learn@mit.edu. If a course is full when you apply, you'll be notified that your name is on a waiting list. New sections may be offered if there is enough demand, and in any case, those on the waiting list are given the first opportunity to register the next time the course is offered.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 16, 1998.


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