Professional Competencies

This category includes a wide range of professional development opportunities designed to increase the knowledge and skills of our employees.

In-Person Courses

In the Merriam Webster dictionary, listening is defined as: "to hear something with thoughtful attention, give consideration." Poor listening skills hinder effective communication and can lead to a minor misunderstanding or a more involved workplace conflict. When you are part of a conversation, whether it take place in an informal setting like the break room, or a more formal setting such as a department meeting, a meeting with your supervisor or a meeting with your team, it is important to practice good listening skills. In this session, you will learn the factors that affect listening and how to overcome them to be an active listener and participate in a productive conversation.

Topics of discussion:

  • Active listening
  • Factors that affect listening
  • When to talk, when to listen
  • What to do after the conversation

RIT is committed to building an environment in which all people are treated with respect and dignity at all times. How each one of us interacts with our co-workers every day establishes the collective experiences through which our commitment to respect and dignity becomes real.  Through reflection, conversation, scenario debriefs and group interaction, we will explore together.

  • Our own experiences of respect and disrespect and their impact on our morale, productivity, and willingness to take risks.
  • The importance of civility and demonstrating basic courtesies such as "please" and "thank you."
  • Communication skills and behaviors that build work relationships of respect and dignity.
  • Using experiences of incivility and disrespect as learning opportunities that create mutual understanding and reconciliation.

This couse was previously titled: RIT's Building Respect in the Workplace, the content has been updated.

Why is it so challenging to work with others at times? Why do some leaders seem to be more effective than others? How can you maximize your own impact at work and at home? The answer is emotional intelligence. In this workshop participants evaluate their own levels of emotional intelligence using an assessment tool designed for maximizing performance in the work place.  Throughout the workshop strategies are shared for developing emotional competence in five key areas and participants create an action plan for future development.  Resources are also be shared so that participants may take back activities to utilize with their own departments to builder stronger relationships, increase productivity and foster more positive work environments.

In any given day, a service provider must be prepared to handle a wide range of interactions with students, faculty, and staff: simple and complex, clear and confusing, informational and emotional. It’s the provider’s job to make sure that each transaction reaches a purposeful and satisfactory conclusion and that the customer feels well treated and cared for every step of the way.


This session provides a universal approach service providers in higher education can use to manage interactions with students, faculty, and staff with confidence. It is based on the four expectations customers bring to every interaction: to be greeted in a positive and professional manner, to have the chance to explain themselves fully, to have their request understood and responded to satisfactorily, and to know what will happen next.


Within this framework, participants learn how to gain the customer’s confidence and cooperation from the outset, how to use questions to uncover and confirm customer needs, how to gently refocus conversations that are going off track, how to present information positively, and how to conclude the conversation on a productive and upbeat note with a smile, being happy and having fun!

Our jobs require us to produce an outcome - tangible and intangible.  Now more than ever, it is important that we use our work hours as productively as possible, to allow us the opportunity to work on a larger variety of tasks and meet the needs of our students and stakeholders. In this class, participants learn two skills that enable them to reduce the cycle time when performing any task, process or service within the university. 

At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to establish a:

  • 5S Project Plan - to help them organize and achieve increased productivity.
  • Spaghetti Diagram - to measure the distance and time loss in performing a task. 

These tools can increase the organization and efficiency of your workplace, resulting in higher productivity, a ‘cleaner’ workplace for enhanced safety and reduced clutter, as well as the recapture of valuable space and minimized overhead, inventory and supply costs. Continued use of these tools will transform your work environment into an always-ready environment that fosters and promotes compliance with policy and procedures and a stronger connection between you and your work environment.

All RIT employees need to be aware of the business risks in their area of responsibility. To help mitigate those business risks, each division, college, and department is responsible for establishing and maintaining effective business practices and internal controls. To assist the University in achieving its objectives, it is vital that a strong internal control environment exists in all aspects of the RIT Community.

One result of weak or broken internal controls is Fraud. Occupational fraud can be found in any workplace. Whether an organization is a non-profit entity such as a university, or a large for-profit corporation, fraud has occurred and continues to occur. This combined topic class will provide you with the knowledge to understand how good internal controls can help prevent fraud from occurring in your area of responsibility.

During this class, the importance of, components of, and the responsibility for establishing and maintaining effective internal controls will be discussed. Various examples of what can happen when controls are non-existent or broken (i.e., fraud) will be shared throughout the class.

By attending this class you will learn:

  • What are internal controls?
  • Why should we care about internal controls?
  • What aspects comprise a good internal control structure?
  • Who is responsible for internal controls?
  • What are some examples of internal controls?
  • Why you should be concerned about fraud.
  • Who typically commits fraud, and why.
  • Common fraud myths.
  • Methods typically used by individuals committing fraud.
  • How you can reduce the risk of fraud in your area of responsibility.
  • How to report suspected fraudulent activity.
  • About real fraud cases investigated by the instructor.
  • What to look for to detect potential fraud.

Who should attend?

Any RIT employee with an interest in learning about internal controls and how to help protect their area of responsibility from potential fraudulent activity.

* Completion of this course is required to obtain your Accounting Series Certificate of Completion. All officers and managers in the university are required to attend.

Participant Comments

“This session brought to light ethics in the work environment on an everyday basis.”

“Great class, very informative, a worthwhile use of my time.”

"Very well done - the discussion of actual fraud documentation was interesting and frightening. I would like to see this class required for everyone."

Time is a precious commodity these days and we all need more of it. This session is applicable to administrative leaders, managers, supervisors, support staff and anyone else who leads a group, team, committee or club meeting. This session provides specific communication strategies and practical actions for achieving a productive and effective meeting.

Nearly all organizations (large and small) go through some kind of change effort every few years. Sometimes these changes take the form of mergers and acquisitions, but even smaller internal restructurings can be incredibly disruptive. In many cases, these efforts to improve the bottom line have a negative impact on morale, productivity, and trust. If this rings true for your situation, you will profoundly benefit from this program.


In this program we will explore:


  • Why trust is often destroyed in change efforts and how this can be prevented.
  • Why top management usually over values the benefits and grossly underestimates the costs.
  • A model on how to improve the process to provide equal energy to culture issues and financial issues.
  • Seven ways management can improve the results of a change.


Participants will benefit from this program through an understanding of the mistakes that result in a high mortality rate for change programs along with the antidotes. They will recognize how the situation is not hopeless – there are pragmatic actions, even in the most challenging times, that place leaders on a path to higher trust and transparency during a transition. 


Description provided by Bob Whipple

RIT, as your employer, is committed to helping you achieve your full potential.  Whether you are working towards advancement or simply want to enrich your current job responsibilities, we want to help by providing the structure, tools and techniques needed to grow your career.

In this two part program, you will learn the three steps of career development, engage in in activities to uncover your skills, interests and values, and learn how to link this valuable information to the emerging needs of the university.  By the close of the workshop, you will have started the design of an action plan to take charge of your future, helping both you and RIT to flourish .

This course is a two part session. In order to receive credit you must be able to attend: 

April 2nd, 2018 & April 4th, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  

Sometimes all it takes to get headed in the right direction is a little push from the right person at the right time. This short workshop can help you determine the next step in your life. 

A passion is how you choose to live your life; a goal is something you aim to achieve. When your passions are clear, you can begin to create goals that are aligned with your passions and begin to create the life you want to live.

Using material from the book The Passion Test by Janet and Chris Attwood, we'll conduct an activity to identify what is most important in your life and what is most critical to your happiness and well-being. We'll do an initial assessment of where you are on that journey and create some options for your next step.

This workshop gives you the tools to create an effective, engaging presentation by focusing on preparation, practice and techniques to improve your public speaking and sharing information. This workshop also covers how to properly use visuals in your presentation to help convey your message, instead of distracting from it.

This is a two day session.

Many times, we need to work with colleagues, or departments outside of our own familiar area.  This may be ongoing, or a one time, special project.  This new team has goals to meet, and often not a lot of time to meet them.  Shorter deadlines and less meeting times require us to be as productive and efficient as possible, during team meetings as well as when members are working independently. 


In this class, participants learn two skills that help them to collaborate with other individuals, departments or teams.  At the conclusion of the session, you will be able to:

  • Generate a process map for graphically duplicating a simple work task.
  • Construct a Swim Lane Map for illustratively communicating inter-departmental effectiveness. 


These tools are beneficial for cross departmental teams that are working together to stream line communications, initiate new services, and plan university wide events.

In this session, participants acquire easy-to-use tools for analyzing their audiences and fashioning effective, reader-centered documents; learn simple methods for writing powerful sentences, with strong verbs and appropriate syntax; learn a simple method for eliminating excess words and create leaner, more concise prose; and receive a brief refresher course on common grammar and usage problems.  The following topics are covered:

  • Developing Good Writing Habits—Basic Assumptions and Guidelines:  groupand individual analysis of a problem document; presentation and discussion of guidelines for good writing; discussion of audience analysis; illustration with revisions of a problem document
  • Using Simple Rules to Write Powerful Sentences:  group and individual analysis of a “fractured” sentence; review of simple rules for writing effective sentences
  • Trimming the fat from sentences:  an introduction to a simple method for writing concise sentences

    Writing correctly—a grammar and usage refresher:  review of common problems of grammar, mechanics and usage

  • Exercises:  a series of quick revisions of short problem texts

The workshop is a mix of presentation, discussion, and group and individual work on problem sentences and documents.  The emphasis is on participation. 

Additional Resources

There are addtional resources, both on campus as well as in our community that employees can access to build their professional toolkits.

Accent Reduction and Pronunciation Class

OSHA Training

The Writing Center


Telecommunications Services provides free training and consulting on an as needed basis. To learn about training services available to faculty and staff users of RIT's phone system or RIT messaging system visit Telecommunications.

For More Information, Contact:

Charlene Ipacs at (585) 475-5858 or Telecom Help Desk at 5-5800.

Tired of stacking, stuffing and spreading?  Tired of spending countless hours looking for the information that you need to complete a task?  Tired of not being able to find a document that you know you filed?  Haven’t realized that traditional filing no longer works?  If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then it is time to discover how Paper Tiger can solve your paper problems. 

The Windows 7 operating system boasts several enhancements that allows for simple navigation and a user freindly interface.  The below guide has been created by ITS to help you navigate through these features and personalize your desktop.  Addionally, the below online course is available through E Learning Zone.  This course explores the new features and enhancements to the Windows 7 operating system and examines the functional differences as compared with Windows XP.