JCERT-Supported Communications Certificate Gives Professionals Valuable Workplace Skills

KU Edwards Campus class

Every class project in the graduate programs in organizational communication is designed for practical implementation on the job.

Equipping employees with the skills to listen actively, recognize the unspoken root of conflicts and initiate difficult conversations is essential to effectively tackle today’s biggest business challenges. Organizations increasingly are looking for employees with these soft skills – and with good reason.

Studies show that soft skills training boosts productivity and retention by 12 percent and delivers a 250 percent return on investment based on higher productivity and retention.

“Communication is the work we do every day,” said Angie Pastorek, Ph.D., program director and lead faculty member for graduate programs in organizational communication at the KU Edwards Campus. “We all want to be understood and contribute our insights and expertise in a meaningful way. Our ability to understand how communication impacts organizational change, builds trust and prevents conflict can build a more inclusive workplace culture and engaged workforce.”

For several years, the KU Edwards Campus has taught these important skills to area employees through its JCERT-funded Graduate Certificate in Professional Workplace Communication. Recently, the program became available through all-online courses; it also remains available as a hybrid program with online and on-campus courses.

“Every class project is designed to be immediately implemented on the job,” Pastorek said. “It’s a great option for those looking to invest in their personal development in a way that also can open a wide variety of career opportunities.”

Brandie Brock, a high school speech and forensics teacher in western Kansas, is an alumnus of the Graduate Certificate in Workplace Communication program.

“Taking these communications and organizational management courses has been critical to developing my soft skills and advancing both my professional development and my education,” Brock said. After earning her graduate certificate, she enrolled in the KU Edwards master’s degree in communication studies.

The 12-credit-hour Graduate Certificate in Workplace Communication can count toward coursework to complete the master’s degree in communication studies, with a concentration in organizational communication.