HRDC offers Penn State Emerging Leaders program

The Human Resource Development Center (HRDC) now offers Penn State Emerging Leaders, a new comprehensive and innovative nine-month leadership development certificate designed primarily for high-performing exempt staff who demonstrate high leadership potential and do not currently have supervisory or management responsibilities. Qualified individuals from other employee groups will not be excluded. Penn State Emerging Leaders increases participants’ effectiveness as leaders in their current roles, strengthens their ability to contribute to organizational priorities, and prepares them for tomorrow’s leadership challenges.

The certificate program offers a wide variety of engaging learning activities that build critical competencies and reinforce Penn State values while focusing on three dimensions of leadership: strategic leadership, personal leadership and collaborative leadership. A series of eight 1/2-day seminars, which are facilitated by select presenters and supplemented by self-directed workplace learning activities, emphasize skill practice and the integration and application of leadership knowledge.

To provide a well-rounded experience and ensure transfer of learning, participants are asked to complete both pre- and post-seminar activities. Pre-seminar activities introduce information, concepts and principles; post-seminar activities reinforce seminar objectives, provide opportunities for practice and promote peer learning. Seminars also will include conversations with representatives from several University groups to increase participants’ understanding of Penn State strategic goals and different perspectives of current and future challenges and priorities.

“Investing in the development of high-performing staff promises both short and long term benefits for Penn State," said Al Horvath, the University's vice president for Finance and Business/treasurer. "I expect the Penn State Emerging Leaders certificate program will engage, develop, and help us retain key University talent while building our pool of emerging leaders for future management roles.”

Lenny Pollack, director of the Human Resource Development Center and Strategic Planning, said the variety of experiences in the program, along with the guidance and examples provided by current leaders at Penn State, will enable participants to be better prepared to address current and emerging leadership challenges.

Self-directed workplace learning activities provide participants with the opportunity to experience and apply leadership knowledge and skills. These individualized experiences throughout the nine-month program increase participants’ exposure to different areas of the University. The benefit of these experiences, along with the guidance and examples provided by current leaders at Penn State, will better prepare participants to access a broad range of available resources to address current and emerging leadership challenges.

Early in the certificate program, participants will complete a series of leadership self-assessments, including: a 270-degree feedback profile from colleagues (which is a modified 360-degree profile), emotional intelligence, self-reflection activities, interviews with current Penn State leaders, and Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory. Based on these results, each participant will then create and implement a leadership learning plan that may include a variety of self-directed workplace learning experiences such as: job shadowing, mentoring, and temporary cross-disciplinary developmental assignments.

Seminars and self-directed informal workplace learning are enhanced by a variety of user-friendly learning activities involving the use of technology to accommodate different learning styles, encourage peer learning, support self-paced learning, and promote the application of new knowledge and skills. Angel is used as an overall course management system for participants to engage in online discussions and access content. Participants use blogs to share insights and perspectives. VoiceThread, an online tool for collaborative learning, enables participants and presenters to share comments, documents, presentations, images, video and audio.

To accommodate participants traveling from different Penn State locations, all sessions are scheduled at the Penn Stater Conference Center from 1 to 5 p.m. Enrollment for the Leadership Development Certificate is open now. To enroll for Penn State Emerging Leaders, watch the video and download the brochure at online.

For more information, contact Brynn Rousselin, human resource development associate in the Human Resource Development Center at 814-865-5907 or

Last Updated January 20, 2011