What is the Professional Development Academy?
The Professional Development Academy is a center dedicated to providing tailored development programs to foster career growth for targeted employee groups and to support Duke's staffing needs. Professional development specialists, working with recruiters in Human Resources, will train, develop and help staff who aspire to be promoted or to transfer to new opportunities.
The goals of the Professional Development Academy are to improve retention, strengthen the management workforce, develop the skills and capabilities of staff, and support Duke's commitment to diversity.
Why is emphasis being placed on supervisor positions?
Good supervisors play a critical role in helping Duke develop a positive work environment dedicated to excellence in education, research and patient care. Supervisors are the front line for any organization, so developing strong, supportive supervisors is typically the best way to improve individual and operational performance, staff retention, and the overall work environment. New supervisors are sometimes hired or promoted into positions with management responsibility without any support or training. The First Time Supervisor Program is designed to address the challenges of people management, financial management and budgeting, or project management.
There is an identified staffing need for quality supervisors at Duke, and within the next 10 years there will be a greater need for experienced supervisors and managers as more staff begin to retire. At the present time, there are more than 100 vacancies for supervisory positions listed at Duke. The First Time Supervisor Program provides managers with an opportunity to recognize and support outstanding individual performers who are ready to assume supervisory responsibilities. The program will provide participants with the necessary competencies to transition successfully within Duke into supervisor positions.
What will be included in the training?
During the 12 month program, participants will participate in classes, coaching, and stretch assignments within your department which will provide training in a variety of areas including people management, budgeting, and project management.
Participants will take courses as a group that meet the core objectives of the program and, as individuals, may have opportunities to attend classes offered by Learning & Organization Development that meet the needs identified on their individual development plan. Department projects will provide opportunities for participants to apply the knowledge and skills learned through coursework in the work environment. Coaching will be provided to clarify goals and create an individual development plan.
Why are mentors nominated by the manager?
Your manager knows you and will have an idea of the best person to support your professional development. Typically the manager will identify a staff member from your department or another Duke entity.
How are mentors selected?
Staff members from your particular department or area are recommended by your manager to participate as a mentor for you. Your managers will be asked to identify potential mentors to assist you through the program.
How long will it take to complete the program? How much time will participants be away from their current jobs?
The program will take 12 months to complete. This will include a minimum of two to three days per month of classroom training in which participants will need to be released from their regular work schedule. Additional training time may be scheduled during regular work hours for coaching and mentoring sessions, additional individualized classes, and a department project.
Will participants be paid for hours spent in training?
Participation in the program will be considered as part of normal work hours for the staff member.
What are the selection criteria for program participants?
The First Time Supervisor Program will include a diverse class of up to 20 participants. The following are the minimum requirements to be considered for the program:
- Nomination and full endorsement from current manager
- Full-time Duke employee with minimum of three years of continuous service
- Performance, as defined by the department, which "meets standards" for the previous two years of continuous service. Applicants with "exceeds standards" will be given priority consideration.
- Minimum of an associate's degree is required depending on the supervisory/managerial position the individual is working toward.
- Consistent demonstration of expertise in field appropriate to applicant's area of responsibilities.
- Acceptance of a retention agreement for two years following completion of program.
Will graduates be guaranteed a promotion or new job once they complete the program?
Graduates are not guaranteed a promotion or new job upon completion of the program. The program will provide participants with the necessary skills and competencies to meet minimum qualifications for supervisor positions at Duke. Recruiters will be available to work with graduates. The graduate is responsible for initiating and following up on their job search with support from the recruiter. Departments are encouraged to identify opportunities for graduates in order to fully benefit from the program.
Will participants have to pay back any of the financial support provided to employees by Duke?
In return for the financial assistance provided for training, participants must agree to work at Duke for 24 months after completion of the program. If participants drop out of the program or leave Duke prior to fulfilling their 24 month commitment, they will be required to repay a portion of the educational costs for instruction, books and supplies.