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Professional Competencies

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


RIT's English Language Center will offer an Accent Reduction and Pronunciation class during fall quarter. The course is designed for business and professional people whose native language is not English and who believe their native language may be interfering with their comprehension of the English language.

The course begins with an individualized speech evaluation which diagnoses the client's problem areas. Stress pitch, intonation, rate, articulation are all assessed in the evaluation and dealt with in class.

For more information and/or a registration form, please contact the English Language Center or call (585) 475-6684.

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
  1. Monday, May 4, 2015 - 9:00am to 10:00am
See Session Registration

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.

  1. Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - 9:00am to 12:00pm
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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.

  1. Monday, April 13, 2015 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
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Tired of being overwhelmed by your e-mail? Are you using your in-box as a “to-do list”, a contact manager, a calendar, or a filing cabinet? How many e-mails do you have in your in-box – 100…250…500…more than 1,000? If so, you aren’t alone! Learn how to properly manage your e-mail so that you can enjoy the benefits of this great tool. Get control of your e-mail so that it doesn’t control you!

During this session, you will learn:

  • The proven secrets of managing e-mail
  • Who contributes to the e-mail overload
  • The 5 misuses of an in-box
  • The golden rule of managing e-mail
  • Disadvantages of a full in-box
  • 5 steps for clearing out an overloaded in-box
  • Strategies for incoming e-mail management
  • 3 tips for significantly reducing spam
  • Strategies for managing outgoing e-mails including 4 options for directing e-mail traffic
  • 5 tips to improve overall performance, processing, maintenance and more!

All registrants will receive course notes, Tips, Tools and Techniques for Managing E-mail, a 21 page how-to tip sheet and a Next Step Guide which contains a step-by-step strategy for getting your e-mail under control.

By attending the Escape the E-mail Vortex session, you will learn how to create and maintain a proven strategy for cleaning out your in-box. You will have the ability to control your “e-mail ecosystem” instead of allowing it to control you!

This session is best suited for MS Outlook users on a Windows operating system.  It will not include information on the MS Outlook Web App, (RIT's mymail system.)

See Session Registration

In this course, students create and edit basic MS Office Excel 2010 worksheets and workbooks. 

The following lessons are completed in this class:

  • Creating a Basic Worksheet
  • Performing Calculations
  • Modifying a Worksheet
  • Formatting a Worksheet
  • Printing Worksheet Contents
  • Managing Large Workbooks

This class is most appropriate for those that use Excel, or who want to begin using Excel for specific tasks.  A basic understanding of computers and Microsoft Office is necessary for success in this class.

Excel is now being offered in half day sessions. You will need to attend both sessions of either the morning or afternoon class to receive credit. 

  • Morning Class: April 28, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. & May 5, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Afternoon Class: April 28, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. & May 5, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  1. Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 8:30am to Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 12:00pm
  2. Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 1:00pm to Tuesday, May 5, 2015 - 4:30pm
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Excel training is now being offered in half day sessions, you will need to attend both sessions ( February 6th and March 6th, 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.) to receive credit.
In this course, students use MS Office Excel 2010 to streamline and enhance spreadsheets with templates, charts, graphs and formulas. They will apply visual elements and advanced formulas to a worksheet to display data in various formats. Participants of this session should complete Excel 2010 Level 1 training.

See Session Registration

In this course, students will learn in-depth material regarding the use of charts and graphs in MS Office Excel.

The following topics will be covered in the course:

Intro to Chart Terminology:

  • Data Point vs. Data Series
  • Axes
  • Legend
  • Plot Area
  • Structuring worksheet data for charting 

Creating a Chart:

  • As a New Sheet
  • As an Embedded Chart
  • Selecting Contiguous Cells
  • Selecting Non-Adjacent Cells 

Modifying a Chart:

  • Changing Chart Type
  • Changing Chart Layout
  • Changing Chart Styles
  • Changing Source Data
    • Viewing same data as different types of charts
  • Adding and Modifying Layout Elements of a Chart
    • Data Labels
    • Axis Labels

 Formatting Charts:

  • Selecting Individual Elements of a Chart
  • Text and Numbering Formatting
  • Fill and Border Formatting 

2-D Charts (X, Y Axis)

  • Formatting and Modifying:
    • Scale
    • Trendlines
    • Switching Rows and Column Data 

3-D Charts (X, Y, Z Axis)

  • Formatting and Modifying:
    • Rotation
    • Perspective
    • Elevation 

Adding Sparklines to a Data Range (Excel 2010 only)

  • Line
  • Columns
  • Win-Loss 

Saving a Chart as a Template and setting as a default chart type 

Using Charts with Other Applications
(Word, PowerPoint, PDF, etc.)

  • Copying
  • Linking
  • Updating

Prerequisite: Excel Level 1 Training

  1. Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 1:00pm to 4:30pm
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10 practice ideas on how to quickly convert chaos to order in your workplace.

Tired of feeling overwhelmed? Tired of trying to figure out how you are going to fit it all in? Tired of life being part of work instead of work being part of life? Discover 10 practical ideas on how to quickly convert chaos to order in your workplace.

These 10 easy-to-understand and easy-to-implement steps will help you realize more of your potential and enjoy work more. You will learn how to:

  • Replace frantic motion with constructive action
  • Become highly productive
  • Create a highly enjoyable path in life

Staying organized is no longer a luxury…it’s a matter of survival.

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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.

  1. Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 9:00am to 11:00am
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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."

  1. Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - 9:00am to 11:30am
  2. Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - 9:00am to 11:30am
  3. Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - 9:00am to 11:30am
  4. Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 1:30pm to 4:00pm
  5. Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 1:30pm to 4:00pm
See Session Registration

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.

  1. Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - 9:00am to 11:00am
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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

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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 session meets on March 25th and March 26th from 9 am - 12 pm each day.         

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Session designed with the goal of developing your skills and knowledge so you are better able to manage tasks and responsibilities while maximizing work and personal time.

Program Objectives

At the completion of this program you will be able to:

  • Assess which tasks and responsibilities your time and resources are presently invested in.
  • Organize and prioritize your tasks and assignments so you are able to use your time more efficiently.
  • Utilize techniques to help you organize yourself and your team to be more effective in accomplishing goals.
  • Define the balance you need between work and personal life to keep a positive and productive attitude.

Key Topic Areas

  • Managing Time and Priorities
  • Your Tasks and Responsibilities
  • Analyzing "Where Your Time Goes"
  • Urgent vs. Important tasks
  • Criteria for Prioritizing
  • Focusing on Results - Continuously Improving
  • Scheduling Your Day
  • Saying No
  • Getting Organized
  • Using all Your Resources
  • Keeping a Balance
  • Professional Development Plan

Training Methods

  • Pre-Training Assignment - Time Tracking Log
  • Interactive Discussion
  • Individual Activities
  • Group Discussions
  • Group Activities
See Session Registration

Pivot Tables are interactive tables that automatically extract, organize, and summarize data. You can use this report to analyze the data, make comparisons, detect patterns and relationships, and discover trends. Pivot Tables allow you to summarize data in a spreadsheet quickly and easily using a graphical “drag and drop” interface. Data from Pivot Tables can also be used to create charts. This workshop will show you how to set up your data to be used in a Pivot Table and then create basic and advanced Pivot Tables. The capabilities of Pivot Tables will be explored and these Pivot Tables will be formatted, modified, and filtered. In addition, Pivot Charts from the data will also be created and manipulated.

Upon successful completion of this course, student will understand the following topics:

  • Describe the basic uses of a pivot table.
  • Understand how data must be structured for a pivot table.
  • Create an unduplicated list of items using pivot tables.
  • Calculate frequencies using a pivot table.
  • Use pivot tables to calculate sums and averages.
  • Format elements in a pivot table.
  • View underlying data in a pivot table cell.
  • Create and manipulate charts with pivot table data.

Over the course of four lessons the following topics will be covered:

Lesson 1: Pivot Table Overview

  • Explore the capabilities of  Pivot Table Reports
  • Organize data for the Pivot Table Report
  • Selecting fields for a Pivot Table Report

Lesson 2: Working with Pivot Table Reports

  • Adding and removing fields in a Pivot Table Report
  • Edit a Pivot Table Report
  • Change the Summary Function in a Pivot Table Report
  • Apply formats to a field

Lesson 3: Sorting & Filtering Pivot Table Reports

  • Filter a Pivot Table Report
  • Show and hide Pivot Table Report details
  • Sorting Pivot Table Report Data

Lesson 4: Working with Pivot Table Charts

  • Create and manipulate a Pivot Chart
  • Edit and format a Pivot Chart
  • Pivot Table Report Troubleshooting

Prerequisite: Excel Level 1 Training

  1. Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 8:30am to 12:00pm
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In this course, students will explore the Outlook interface, manage Email communications, Calendar, Contacts, create Tasks and Notes for yourself and customize the Outlook interface to serve your own personal needs.
The following lessons are completed in this class:
-Identify the components of the Outlook 2010 environment
-Compose email messages
-Organize email messages into folders
-Manage contacts
-Schedule appointments
-Schedule meetings
-Manage tasks, notes, and journal entries
It is important to understand that if you are registered for this class and fail to attend, a $100 no show fee will be assessed.

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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.

  1. Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 9:30am to 11:30am
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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.

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Although you may not be formally employed as a project manager, you may occasionally be called upon to lead a small to medium sized project for your company. In this course, you will strategically plan a project so that you can achieve the desired results on time and on budget. You will identify its requirements and the resources you have to work with, monitor the project's progress, and mitigate the related obstacles so that you can lead a team in bringing the project to a successful completion. This course will give you the basics on the project management process and the tools needed to manage small to medium size projects.

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Do you want to :

* Become a better speaker and presenter?

* Communicate with confidence?

* Develop your leadership skills?

* Improve your job interview skills?

Learn these skills and more in a supportive, self-paced, fun atmosphere.  Toastmasters International is a world-wide organization that teaches communication and leadership skills in a club setting, where members get to practice these skills in a supportive setting each time they attend a meeting.

Please visit The Tiger Tales website for information on time and location.  

Visitors are welcome.

Toastmasters International is a world-wide organization that teaches communication and leadership skills in a club setting, where members get to practice these skills in a supportive setting each time they attend a meeting.

These self-paced programs are informal - yet professional, tailored to meet your personal objectives. Toastmasters' time-tested training meets current industry needs and expectations. Training and mentoring are available to you.

Learn to speak more effectively, with confidence, improve your communication and presentation skills, gain leadership and management skills, fantastic resume builder, great networking opportunity, hit the ground running as you graduate from school, or prepare for your next job interview all while meeting new people!

More information can be found at:

This introductory session reviews the fundamental information about DISC. Your personal assessment is reviewed. This session is private, and participants must have completed their DISC assessment prior to attending the session.

See registration for location details.

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. 

  1. Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 9:00am to 12:00pm
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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.

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