SUU offering tuition-free ‘Learn and Work in Utah’ certificate programs online

Stock image illustrating Parks and Tourism certificate program, courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah University has been approved to offer four tuition-free certificates as part of the second year of the Utah System of Higher Education’s “Learn and Work in Utah” funding.

Stock image courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

According to a recent news release from the university, SUU’s community and professional development department is offering three certificates designed to help unemployed or vulnerable workers gain skills valuable to the workforce. They include a community health worker certificate, a parks and tourism certificate and a manufacturing and aviation systems management certificate. In addition, the SUU School of Business will offer a fourth tuition-free certificate in project management.

“SUU is happy to be included in this upcoming round of Learn and Work offerings and to help get Utahns back to work or up-skill to gain better employment,” Susie Knudsen, assistant director of SUU community and professional development, said in the press release. “We have 325 seats available to students across the state who are interested in learning something new while elevating career skills.”

Each of the four certifications is offered at no cost to Utah residents who are unemployed or underemployed due to COVID-19. Programs are offered completely online, giving adult learners the flexibility to work at their own pace to boost their resumes and careers. Programs typically run several weeks, with five to 10 hours being the average time commitment needed each week.

Knudsen said the nine-week Community Health Care Worker program already started this week but is expected to be offered again next summer.

Meanwhile, SUU’s parks and tourism certificate, which is scheduled to start on Aug. 2, teaches students about Utah’s dynamic tourism industry and gives them a unique understanding of Utah’s parks through discussion with industry professionals, reflections, assignments, skills assessment and work-based learning time.

“In our industry, we recognize the growing need for quality professionals and have seen a growing demand in our region,” Maria Twitchell, executive director of Visit Cedar City – Brian Head, Iron County’s official destination marketing and management organization, said in the press release.

“Facilitating training opportunities and tourism/recreation career pathways is one of the key initiatives in our Iron County Destination Development and Management plan,” Twitchell added. “The Parks and Tourism certificate provides training that we feel is in line with the needs of our tourism business and we would recommend our partners hire applicants who have this training on their resume.”

Stock image courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

The upcoming project management certificate, which is scheduled to start Sept. 8, focuses on the practical application and best practices of the project management framework.

Participants in the program gain the knowledge necessary to enter a project management career, acquire increased credibility, increase their salary prospects and lay a foundation for the project management professional certification, considered the gold standard in the world of project management.

“I am very excited that we have received funding for this program,” said Travis Simkins, assistant professor of marketing at SUU, in the news release. “I am grateful to those who see the value in project management education and want to support SUU students in acquiring a valuable industry credential.”

Finally, the Manufacturing and Aviation Systems Management program, also scheduled to start Sept. 8, focuses on systems-based operational approaches tailored to the professional manager who is committed to continuous improvement. This certification can be applied across government, healthcare, education and industry professions.

“System, Agility and Innovation Management is important for every working individual,” Brooke Smith, a systems management student from Herriman said in the release. “It helps you approach and respond to situations with a different lens. It shifts your mindset to thinking about the bigger problem and can make a significant impact on your personal and professional life.”

The “Learn and Work in Utah” initiative was launched by the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development and its Talent Ready Utah team, in partnership with the Utah System of Higher Education.

In July 2020, the Utah State Legislature allocated $4.5 million to the Utah System of Higher Education to create in-demand, short-term educational programs to promote furloughed, laid off, or dislocated workers, as well as underserved or other populations affected by COVID-19 in accordance with the federal CARES Act.

To learn more about SUU’s Community and Professional Development Learn and Work certificates or to apply for one of the upcoming programs, click here.

Written by KENZIE LUNDBERG, SUU Office of Marketing Communication.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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