The University of Southern Mississippi's Workplace Learning and
Performance Center arrived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast this month,
ready to take advantage of a business environment favorable for
the innovative curriculum that the department offers.
Coast is delighted to have the Workplace Learning and Performance
Center now operating out of its Gulf Park campus," said Dr.
Jay Grimes, provost of Southern Miss Gulf Coast and director of
the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. "This center has a proud
history of providing solutions for the private sector and they are
now ideally positioned to work with the ever-expanding growth on
Dr. Cyndi Gaudet, the Workforce Training and Development master's
program was approved in 1999 by the Institutes of Higher Learning.
Workforce training and development focuses on preparing professionals
to anticipate and to meet the changing needs of industry.
competitive 21st_century workplace, workforce training and development
professionals are in high demand because they offer systematic and
tangible solutions to a variety of human performance problems,"
said Gaudet, who also serves as director of the Workplace Learning
and Performance Center. "WTD students are taught how to design
effective programs to improve the worker (performance), the work
(process) and the workplace (organization)."
courses are designed to provide location and time flexibility for
busy professionals who would like to increase their knowledge, skills,
and credibility in the training profession but cannot relocate for
a traditional graduate program. The master of science degree in
workforce training and development prepares students to
individual and organizational needs,
- build knowledge
capital within the organization,
human performance, and
In the executive
format, students may earn a master's degree by completing three
on-campus sessions each semester supported by Web-based learning
for a total of 33 semester hours. Each three-day session is conducted
on a Thursday-Friday-Saturday schedule on campus.
degree and a certificate program for training and human resource
development professionals are also available. A campus chapter of
the International Society of Performance Improvement has been chartered
for student development in the WTD profession.
is a great addition to our coast mission of servicing the nontraditional
student," said Ken Malone, chief operating officer of Southern
Miss Gulf Coast. "The master's degree in workforce development
is offered in a hybrid online/in-person format that is ideal for
our working students. The WLPC will also be integrated into our
Gulf Coast business community, assisting companies in the analysis
of their increasingly high-tech workforce."
As of the summer
semester this year, 43 students had completed the WTD master's program.
WTD alumni work for a variety of public and private organizations
in such roles as corporate training managers, guest relations training
specialists and managers of education departments.
Workforce Training and Development program was recognized as one
of 50 Best Practices in Workforce Development at the Southern Growth
Policies Board 30th annual Conference on the Future of the South
in June 2002. The program's success was published in the Southern
Growth Policies Board's report, "Human Capital Strategies for
the Next Economy: Best Practices from the South." In other
news, Gaudet was recently asked to serve on NASA's Workforce Development
Task Force Committee to create a workforce development strategic
plan for the next five years for NASA's Earth Science Enterprise.