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March 11, 2021

Avila Announces Workforce Development Academy

Photo collage showing three different size workshops available - large conference, smaller team, and virtual meetings
WDA Workshops. The Workforce Development Academy workshops are tailored to your needs and your team. Workshops are available for large, organizational meetings, smaller team meetings, and virtual presentations.

March 11, 2021 (Kansas City, MO)—Consolidating its strength in adult continuing education, Avila University announced today the creation of a new initiative, the Workforce Development Academy @ Avila University, which will begin workshops on March 25.

Housed within the Avila Institute for Professional Studies, the initiative is tailored to working professionals in Kansas City and the Midwest through three primary focus areas: Workplace Education Benefits, Skill Workshops and Certificate Programming. According to Avila President Ronald A. Slepitza, Ph.D., CSJA, these areas were chosen because they will add the most value to students.

“The Workforce Development Academy @ Avila University is an exciting new venture designed to meet the needs of Kansas City professionals who want to grow their knowledge after they’ve begun their careers,” Sleptiza said. “Through the expertise of our Avila Institute for Professional Studies professors and instructors, we’ll be providing workers with highly useful skills and knowledge they’ll be able to use right away to advance their careers, whether they’re entry level or an executive.”

The Workforce Development Academy, or WDA, is designed to deliver educational opportunities anchored in quality, academic rigor and outcomes. Each area of focus incorporates best practices in adult and accelerated education, driven by quality curriculum and qualified facilitators with decades of instructional and workplace experience.

The three primary areas of focus:

Workplace Education Benefit

Geared to businesses and organizations, the Workplace Education Benefit is a highly customizable tool for professional development, continuing education and education benefit opportunities. By partnering with the WDA, businesses and organizations can create a unique set of educational offerings that solves their specific needs. The WDA will also facilitate enrollment of employees in degree and certification programs aligning with company needs.

Skill Workshops

The WDA Skill Workshops were designed to complement the essential skills development areas determined by KC Rising, the community initiative created by the Kansas City Civic Council to align and accelerate community efforts to achieve shared prosperity across the region. The Skill Workshops will center around skills tied to critical thinking, communication, collaboration, interpersonal skills, executive function and proactivity. These skills, chosen because of skill gaps at the local, regional and national level. In addition, the Academy will develop course and test prep opportunities to help individuals obtain several in-demand industry certifications.

Certificate Programming

Building on numerous new graduate degree concentration areas offered by the Avila Institute for Professional Studies, WDA Certificate Programs allow individuals to earn a relevant and valuable set of focused skills in areas such as strategic human resources, executive leadership development, instructional design, leadership coaching, project management, inclusion and belonging, and change management.

“The Workforce Development Academy @ Avila University was born of two ideas,” said Andy Jett, Ed.D., Dean of the College of Professional Schools. “We sought to develop lifelong learning opportunities for Avila alumni and those Avila serves, as well as helping the Kansas City community of businesses and organizations solve the skill gaps they have identified. As an institution of higher education our core competency is just that, educating. The WDA gives professionals in Kansas City and across the Midwest the skills businesses and organizations are looking for with the academic rigor students expect from Avila.”

Learn more about the Workforce Development Academy at www.avila.edu/wda.

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