Professional Development: Institutes

Career Training Development offers a number of opportunities for professional development for career specialists, career counselors, job center staff, educators, and others interested in education and work issues.

Summer Institute
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Photo by Jeff Miller/University of Wisconsin–Madison

Summer Institute

This annual summer event provides expert training and networking opportunities for career development facilitators, career counselors, career specialists, advisors, coaches, and virtually anyone involved in career development and workforce readiness.

The agenda provides ample time for formal and informal networking with instructors and participants. Whether you serve as a K-12 educator, a higher education professional, or as a professional in the community, these Institutes will provide ideas for working with students and clients on a wide variety of issues. In addition, by attending, you can receive professional development hours that will count towards the renewal of your certifications. The coronavirus pandemic has had an intense and devastating impact on the labor force and on the services that we as career service practitioners provide. The content of each Institute will include conversations about the aftermath of this pandemic with a focus on strategies for working with individuals, communities, and the resultant decimation of opportunity and hope.

We will be delivering all Institutes remotely. We will send video conferencing information at a later date.

Summer Institute: July 15-16, 2021


Institute 1:

The Impact of the Pandemic on our Profession

July 15, AM

As we think about the state of our profession in 2021, we quickly become aware of important changes that are taking place. Although we would like to believe that once we are all vaccinated, we will go back to the practices and policies from before, most experts don’t believe that to be true. Many of the changes that we have seen over the last year will likely become permanent. What are those changes? How will they impact us? How will they affect our students and clients? Are there strategies that we can use to reduce the stress associated with these changes? As example, we have all spent a lifetime learning to communicate in person and now we are conducting the most important work that we do in ways that often are not comfortable and may not be effective.

During this Institute, we will examine several of these trends. The topics we have chosen to cover are ones that were identified in an informal survey of professionals in our field. They include:

  • Discerning Distance: Making Online Communication Work for You
  • Maintaining Resilience in Troubling Times, and
  • Collaborating with Colleagues (even though we no longer work in the same physical space)

Institute 2:

The Art of Improvisation: Skills to Improve Our Practice

July 15, PM

Our work requires both careful preparation and in-the-moment adjustments based on client and colleague input. During this institute, we are going to look more carefully at those “adjustments” by studying the art of improv. You will discover how those practices and principles can help you to become more engaged communicators and effective collaborators. We will look at how we can interact with others in ways that are more genuine, collaborative, and spontaneous. You will hear about it, watch it, do it, and discuss it.

Likely, you have enjoyed watching improv performers, such as those who work for Second City, TV shows like Whose Line is it Anyway? or unscripted movies like Waiting for Guffman or The Mighty Wind. The actors appear to be loose, witty people who think on their feet and are very creative. But, like most skills, what seems easy and natural, requires intentional skill development.

The tenets of improv encourage building relationships that are generous rather than closed; supportive rather than competitive; organic rather than scripted. Explore how this approach can impact your communication skills in positive ways.—You just might develop a skill set that stretches your comfort zone!

Institute 3:

Maintaining our Sense of Self in Difficult Times: Workplace Issues, Personal Challenges, and Well-Being Training

July 16, AM

When we completed our survey of career service professionals several months ago, we found that many people were finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the emotions that have come with working remotely, dealing with uncertainty, stress about employment status, and worries about our health and that of our families and friends. It was reported that a sense of optimism was declining.

Therefore, now may be the time to re-examine your self-care routine, and to refresh it. But we find ourselves asking, during a period of physical isolation, what does self-care even look like? We will hear from several speakers who will discuss their answers to that question.

  • Ways to Maintain Our Sense of Self
  • Finding Calm Amidst the Chaos: The Power of a Pause to Create a Kinder Workplace
  • The Sustainability of Working Remotely: Being Able to Turn it Off and Set Boundaries
  • Explore Your Spirituality and Learn Strategies to Tap into What Feeds your Meaning and Purpose

Institute 4:

Online Communication: Building Relationships from a Distance

July 16, PM

Although we have been using remote forms of communication for many years, the pandemic and the need to quarantine, have forced us to work with our clients, students, and colleagues solely from a distance. We’ve had to reinvent and rethink the way we build and maintain relationships. Long distance communication skills are no longer a choice or a luxury; they are a necessity. Most of us completed our training before proficiency in these skills was essential. Therefore, neither have we had the opportunity to define the skills needed nor have we had the opportunity to practice them and receive feedback from our colleagues.

During this Institute you will have an opportunity to identify these skills, look closely at them, practice them, and determine if you are using them effectively.

We will also examine Section F of our Ethical Code (Providing Career Services Online, Technology, and Social Media). The goal of this examination is to ensure we understand Section F and adhere to it.

Register for Summer Institute

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