UD gives back with professional education

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This fall, the University of Dallas welcomes a second cohort of a new kind of student: participants in the Practical Business Training program.

The PBT began accepting students in fall 2021. Participants take a four-month regimen of studies offered by the Gupta College of Business in coordination with Executive Education faculty.

Clare Venegas, vice president of marketing of UD, said, “We have an executive education program with [the city of Irving] specifically to help train their middle management.”

PBT was started to provide resources to city of Irving police officers but has since been expanded to include other city of Irving employees.

“The City of Irving focuses on leveraging local resources to maximize professional development for the City of Irving Employees,” said a statement from the UD Executive Education Team. “While this program was initially intended for the City of Irving Police department, we have now expanded and have provided accessibility for all general government employees.”

Chief Russell Greene had the idea for the program in 2020 when he realized that UD could give back to the community by providing management training to the Irving Police Department. In his previous position, Greene used to send his officers quite far away for similar training and hoped that UD would provide these resources to the city of Irving closer to home.

Once per month, those participating in PBT come to campus to participate in a full day’s worth of training activities which focus on a major theme. Over the course of the program, they cover Building Trust and Collaboration through Effective Communication, Making the Necessary Transitions, Creating an Environment Where Employees Thrive and Flourish, and Leading through Adaptive Challenges and Strategic Change.

“Between the in-person sessions the officers along with the participating general government employees read five books throughout the program, participate in online discussion, multiple leadership assessments, and create a personal development plan,” the statement said. “Individuals who complete the program successfully earn a certificate and the Practical Leadership digital badge issued by the University of Dallas.”

The course was tailored to meet Irving’s needs for management training. The city helped to design the curriculum in conjunction with the university.

“The leadership class is tailored to the needs of the city of Irving,” Greene said. “The city has asked for particular chasses and we try to meet their needs.”

PBT has been largely successful. According to the statement, there are currently 20 enrolled in the fall 2022 program and 45 have completed the course last year. 

“It is important to give back and support those who support us, this program has allowed us the opportunity to share the knowledge of our faculty with the City’s employees in a way that allows them to develop new skills and grow professionally,” the statement said.

Greene says that from what he’s heard, the city of Irving is very pleased with PBT and that it is mutually beneficial to both the city and UD which can get its name out.

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