About Allie Pyzik

Allie Pyzik is the Program Coordinator for the Center for Professional Studies (CPS). CPS develops customized workforce training programs for public and private sector organizations as well as develops professional certification courses to prepare students to meet the critical workforce shortages. Allie’s blog posts primarily focus on current workforce trends, new training programs and events, as well as the occasional introduction of new CPS staff members.

Allie

Each year, a number of Towson University departments, both academic and administrative, offer opportunities for qualified students to become graduate assistants.  . The process is competitive and responsibilities vary depending on the sponsoring department.  Depending on the number of hours graduate assistants (or GA’s) work they receive tuition remission and a stipend making these limited positions highly sought after.  The objective of a graduate assistantship is to provide the student with rich professional experiences that also support the department’s goals and activities.

Within our department, Center for Professional Studies, we regularly utilize graduate assistants to support a number of areas ranging from customized training programs to continuing education.  For the past two years we have had been lucky enough to have, Jenna Frazzini as a member of our team. Jenna is a speech and language pathology major. When Jenna first joined our group we were in the process of submitting a grant to the Maryland Higher Education Commission and identified an active role for Jenna to play in the proposed project. Over the past two years, Jenna has regularly traveled to Dundalk High School to help high school seniors with the college application process, essay writing, and basic interview skills. Jenna worked one on one with the students and feels confident that her interaction with the students had a large impact on the student’s confidence as it came time for them to begin applying to college.

When I asked Jenna what she’s found most rewarding during her tenure as a GA, she responded, “that the skills that she learned from dealing and communicating with several different groups of people in a business-like setting have been invaluable.”

Our Director, Jeff Beeson, while new to the job, is already looking for opportunities for us to employ more graduate assistants in the future.

Image credit: Desiree Stover


Allie

Towson University Center for Professional Studies is hosting an annual Federal Tax Update Seminar on November 2 and 3, 2011 in the Minnegan Room located in the Johnny Unitas Field house overlooking Towson’s Football stadium.

The seminar’s objective is to provide an update on federal law changes including bills that might pass later this month.

Participants have the opportunity to

  • earn 16 Credits of CPE/NASBA/CFP/EA and
  • receive certificates upon course completion
  • speak one on one with the instructors and questions in a group or setting

Two instructors lead the seminar discussing topics including:

  • New Legislation
  • Rulings and Cases
  • Individual Taxpayer Issues
  • Financial Distress
  • Business Issues, Retirement Issues
  • Agricultural Issues
  • Investment Issues
  • IRS Issues
  • Trusts and Estates
  • Tax Practices
  • Basis of Assets
  • Ethics
  • Tax Rates and Useful Tables

Don’t miss out on this great seminar! Contact me at 410-296-8596 for more information or register now.

Towson University's Johhny Unitas Stadium


Allie

When Bobbie sent me an email weeks ago asking me to write a “send off” to Mike Schroder I knew that I wanted it to be special. Mike’s last day is Friday, July 15th and in just a few short weeks he’ll begin his next adventure as the Dean of Extended Learning at California State University, San Marcos.  I have been an employee of Towson for the past 5 years and worked for Mike my entire tenure. Tasks have changed, co workers have left and moved on, offices have moved more times than I can remember, we have had successes and defeats, and dealt with the loss of a dear co worker and friend.

Mike is a boss who truly cares about his employees both professionally and personally. The considerate “personal” aspect of Mike’s demeanor I have witnessed firsthand. Within my five years working under Mike I have gotten married and had two children. Mike was one of the people I looked forward to sharing my good news with because I knew that no matter how buried Mike was in task orders, budget issues, and meetings, he was going to be genuinely happy for me and my family. Because of this I feel that Mike’s character, easy going personality and positive attitude are his strongest assets. Trish Roger, of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute said, “Mike is a champion. It seems nothing has been too big or too small for him to tend to. He is an incredible human being and he will be greatly missed.”  This could not be truer. Mike has the ability to find a healthy balance in work and life that is truly admirable.

On the professional side, Mike is passionate about the success of his employees and the success of our overall division and the University as a whole. Jackie Gratz, the Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute stated, “Mike has given unending support to the programs of the Osher Institute and under his leadership and guidance, Osher has been awarded three grants and then an endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation.  Mike was instrumental in securing Osher’s classroom space at 7400 York Road and then recently increasing that space.   It has been such a pleasure working with Mike; we will miss him tremendously and we extend congratulations to him and wish him the best in his upcoming endeavor.”

As hard as it’ll be to see Mike head west, I look forward to hearing of the Schroder’s adventures under the California sun.  CSU is so very lucky to get to know Mike and his family. I know that no matter what life hands them Mike will find a way to have fun, be successful and hopefully find time to keep in touch!

Best of luck, Mike!


Allie

Providing teachers from around the U.S. world class training and professional development opportunities.

From July 11th -15th over 70 teachers from the around the U.S. will be coming to Towson to take part in the Oracle Academy at Towson University. While on campus, teachers will be staying in dormitories as well as the Towson University Marriott and will even utilize campus dining services for their meals throughout the week.

The Oracle Academy is a cutting edge program that provides educational institutions with industry-leading software, curriculum, support, and certification resources that faculty can integrate into their classrooms. As a result, these teachers can then assist their students in gaining hands on experience with the latest technologies and develop skills that will help them excel in the 21st century workplace while developing their technical, analytical, and business skills.

Currently, Oracle Academy Instructors’ Institutes are in Romania, Egypt, Czech-Republic, China and USA. However, there are only 4 states in the U.S. that currently house an Instructors Institute, Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois, and Maryland. The Oracle Academy is said to support over 850,000 students in 91 countries through their instruction.

The Oracle Academy has 3 specific areas of instruction:

  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Advanced Computer Science
  • Enterprise Business Application

Allie

In December of 2010 Towson University’s EEOL, in partnership with the MTA kicked off its Master Trainer Certification Program. The program, which currently consists of 2 sessions, a fall session and spring session, runs for approximately 2 weeks. Currently, there are 5 groups working to complete their certification.  Approximately 15 MTA employees take part in each session.  The overall goal of the Master Trainer Program is to give trainers the opportunity to upgrade their skills and learn from the field. Through designing and implementing this program and curriculum, EEOL instructors ensure consistent training methods are being instilled and concepts that address the broad spectrum of trainers at MTA are being met.

Topics covered in the 2-week training include, but are not limited to,

  • How Adults Learn,
  • Instructional Design for New Designers,
  • Instructional Techniques for New Instructors,
  • Training Needs Analysis,
  • and Presentation.

Upon training completion, each MTA employee does a 5-minute+ presentation.

Edward Moore, a Project Manager for the MTT workforce group has completed session one of his training, and stated,

After many years as a training instructor with the MTA, I can truly say that the Master Trainer Program has shown me that the preparation and delivery of training programs should be done in a systematic manner.   It has shown me better ways of taking control of the classroom and to be more effective in my delivery of the material.  This was a wonderful course and the benefits to me in my everyday work life far exceed what I expected from the training.  It also helped that the Towson instructors were top notch in their field.”

EEOL hopes to expand this newly created and highly successful training model across the state of Maryland.


Allie

In the world of workforce training, determining trends year-to-year comes down program popularity.  In other words – what trainings will produce JOBS! When I asked Gordon Davis, our Educational Consultant, what the hottest programs on the market have been for the past year he immediately said, “That’s an easy question: Project Management, and Medical Coding and Billing.”

In as little as 6 to 12 months, depending on your own schedule you have the ability to become certified online in any of the above fields. Prerequisites are not required!

Project Management

It takes 3-6 months and 56 hours of coursework to fully prepare yourself to sit for the PMP Exam to become PMI Certified. This course is self-paced with 24/7 access as well as direct contact with an instructor if mentor assistance is needed.

Photo Credit: Jakub Krechowicz

Medical Billing and Coding

Why not train for one of the hottest and fastest growing careers in the medical industry? In the Medical Coding and Billing Certification course, you’ll learn the essentials of Medical Coding and Billing, including evaluation and management coding, proper billing procedures for Medicare and private insurance companies, anatomy and medical terminology, claims appeals and more. Studies show that Medical Coders and Billers are paid accordingly for their skills. The average starting pay for a certified Medical Coder is about $35,000 per year, with veterans in the field making over $50,000.

In preparation for this blog, I took a look back at some of my posts from the past year and came across these two that highlighted additional programs focused on workforce training:

If you have questions on how to take the next step into a new career, please contact our Educational Consultant Gordon Davis at 410-704-4743 or gmdavis@towson.edu.


Allie

Jackie Gratz is the Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute providing oversight, curriculum planning and implementation of the Institute’s on-campus academic program as well as programs at local retirement communities and the Towson public library. Jackie holds a M.A. in History from Harvard University and a B.A. in History from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her broad academic background provides a unique perspective for her work in curriculum planning. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work on projects with Jackie and I have witnessed her commitment, leadership, management, and communication skills in action and can see why Osher has seen the success it has. Take a few minutes to hear more from Jackie Gratz.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AljAUempuMM]


Allie

Extended Education and Online Learning (EEOL) is hosting an annual Federal Tax Update Seminar on November 10 – 11, 2010.  The seminar’s main objective is to provide an update on federal law changes including bills that might pass in late October 2010. Participants have the opportunity to earn 16 Credits of CPE/NASBA/CFP/EA and receive certificates upon course completion. The Federal Tax Update Seminar is held in the beautiful setting of the Minnegan Room located in the Johnny Unitas Field house overlooking Towson’s Football stadium. Participants are given ample opportunity to speak one on one with the instructors as well as ask questions in a group or setting.

Two instructors lead the seminar discussing topics including:

  • New Legislation

    Photo Credit: File Your Taxes Now

  • Rulings and Cases
  • Individual Taxpayer Issues
  • Financial Distress
  • Business Issues, Retirement Issues
  • Agricultural Issues
  • Investment Issues
  • IRS Issues
  • Trusts and Estates
  • Tax Practices
  • Basis of Assets
  • Ethics
  • Tax Rates and Useful Tables

Don’t miss out on this great seminar! Contact me at 410-296-8596 for more information.

The view from the Minnegan Room at TU's Johnny Unitas Stadium Photo Credit: David Vatz


Allie

Towson University’s Extended Education and Online Learning (EEOL) unit has been utilizing the DMC  to assist partners and clients for over three years.  With multiple locations and portable equipment, the DMC creates a training environment without location barriers.  We’ve helped clients save travel funds by being able to broadcast to employees around the state and save time by only having to record a training program one time and re-use it without losing the interaction experience with the instructor.

My two favorite DMC features are the ability to live broadcast a training to anywhere in the world and simultanteously record the instructor and participants for archiving for later use AND the remote control feature that puts the course pace in the hands of the user.   Check out the video below to learn more about how your organization could benefit from using Towson University’s Digital Media Classrooms!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEbWyEhqXa4]


Allie

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with the Jackie Gratz the Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Center (OLLI), to hear a little bit about their upcoming course Preview featuring all of their Fall 2010 course offerings.

I had lots of questions about the upcoming event, but I think Jackie summed it up best with, “the Preview is great fun and very informative!”

Who is invited to attend the Preview? All Osher members, guests, people who have seen Osher flyers or other publicity in community newspapers; directors of partnership programs at retirement communities as well as some of their  residents; some of DECO, EEOL, and TU staff.  There is always an open invitation to those over 50 years of age.

How many people you are expecting? We generally have 180 – 190.

OLLI Director Jackie Gratz checking in with the volunteers

Where and When is the Preview being held? The Preview will be held in the Merrick Lecture Hall at Goucher College, 10 a.m. – 12 n. on July 29th.

Which classes are being previewed? All classes in the fall 2010 catalog except those classes that are filled already or classes of instructors who could not attend.  OLLI will be offering classes in the areas of Music, Art History, Jazz, Dance, Film, Literature, Poetry, Natural Sciences, History, and Book Clubs.  About 25 (either four or eight week courses) will be previewed.

Will the instructors be present? Yes, instructors will give three minute presentations of their classes.  According to Jackie, the general public really enjoys the opportunity to meet the instructors before registering for their particular course.

Jackie concluded by saying that the Preview is also a social event with refreshments served and lots of socializing before and after.  Sounds like a great way to spend a morning!

OLLI members gearing up for the preview