Spring 2018 Next Steps Classes

Our Next Steps classes go beyond the basics, offering essential skills for work and life. Classes can improve your overall effectiveness, making you more valuable in your present job and positioning you for increased responsibility, for moving up, or for trying something new.

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Communications & Writing

Leadership Communications

Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
February 13, February 20, February 27
Campus Center Room 905

Are you interested in becoming a  supervisor? Are you a union leader looking for skills to improve communication and manage conflict? Do you want to grow your leadership skills? We will cover effective communication skills, problem solving, managing conflict, and leadership styles. We will practice active listening, healthy conversations, and ways to give and get respect. This class could help you further your job and career goals. Take Leadership Communications and Managing Difficult Conversations together for a combined certificate.   Leslie Fraser, instructor    

Managing Difficult Conversations

Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 6 and March 20 Campus Center Room 803
Crucial communications take place every day in our work. You know the type—conversations where there are high stakes, differences of opinion, and strong emotions. How can we handle those difficult conversations? In this two-session class, we will practice ways to deal with people who implode or explore—who clam up or blow up. We will help you choose your own responses in a difficult conversation, while we practice active listening, healthy conversations, and communicating across differences when emotions run high. This class could help you improve teamwork, effectiveness, and communications at work and beyond. Take Leadership Communications and Managing Difficult Conversations together for a combined certificate. Leslie Fraser, instructor

Copyedit and Proofread Like a Pro

Monday, April 23, 1 to 3 p.m.
Dickinson Room 210

Whether you publish your work on the internet, send it out on a listserv, or spread your news through email or social media—learn how to copyedit and proofread like a pro. Good proofreaders can identify mistakes and improve the quality of writing even under tight deadlines. Through in-class exercises, this class will teach you tips and techniques to perfect your documents. You will learn how to use editing and proofreading techniques and resources, proofread for overall meaning and organization, and become familiar with some of the most common grammatical errors.  Leslie Fraser, instructor

Speak Up! Using Your Voice at Work

Thursdays, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
February 15 and February 22
Campus Center Room 903

Are you nervous about speaking up on the job? Do you lead meetings, make presentations, or talk in front of groups? In this 2-session class, we will learn public speaking skills, practice, and receive feedback from class participants.  Leslie Fraser, instructor

Beginning Conversational Workplace Spanish

Class Meets Twice a Week, Tuesdays and Thursdays
Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. AND Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
February 13 to March 22 (no class March 13 and March 15)
Dickinson Room 210

Our basic conversational class will help you break down language barriers and communicate better with your Spanish-speaking co-workers and friends. Learning just a little Spanish will increase your understanding of Hispanic cultures at UMass and improve your conversations with Spanish speakers at work or in the community.  We'll have time to practice and check online learning resources in this easy and fun class.  Fran Fortino, instructor

Building Bridges

"Building Bridges" is a campus-wide public art and engagement initiative that draws on the power of solidarity and creative expression to bring people together and create bridges across difference. This initiative is a collaboration between UMass Civic Engagement and Service Learning and Labor/Management Workplace Education, Division of Human Resources, and is funded by the Office of the Associate Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion.

Our Immigrant Voices

Tuesdays, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
February 6 to April 17 (no class March 13)
Goodell Room 406A

This course will bring together immigrant employees and others to create mini-projects that amplify the voices and realities of immigrant employees on campus. The mini-projects will be designed by the participants with a goal of highlighting different aspects of the immigrant employee experience at UMass. They will take place during March and April and will also be showcased in a campus-wide event in April. Anyone in the UMass community interested in being a part of this course is encouraged to sign up. Joseph Krupczynski, Jacob Carter, Sonia Lindop, and Emily Tareila, facilitators   

Showcasing Worker Artists at UMass

Thursdays, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
February 22 to March 29 (no class March 15)
Goodell Room 406A

This course brings together worker artists and others to explore the ways in which they can showcase the talents of worker artists on campus. Specifically, participants will be planning for contributions to an event in April and how to more generally increase the visibility of worker artists on the UMass campus in the years to come. Anyone in the UMass community interested in being a part of this course is encouraged to sign up. —Joe Connolly and Jacob Carter, facilitators 

We Are More than You See 

Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. to Noon
March 27 to April 24
Campus Center Room 803, except class will meet in CC 805 on April 17

The people who work at UMass have powerful life stories to share. Do you have a life outside of UMass that students and staff don’t get to see? Perhaps you play in a band, write poetry, or grow food for farmers’ markets. Or maybe you lived in another country and have world experiences that our campus can learn from. Join this 5-session writing workshop, where you will learn how to craft writing that shares what’s most important about you. And if you would like to collect other people’s stories, we will help you develop skills to do that. Everyone is welcome—just bring a computer or a notebook, a pen, and your writing voice.   Leslie Fraser, instructor

Health & Wellness

Yoga, Mindfulness & Nutrition for Workplace Wellness

Thursdays, 1 to 2:30 p.m. March 29 to April 26 Campus Center Room 917, except class will meet in CC 803 on April 5
Many of us know what to do when we get sick, but we’re not sure about how to be—or stay—healthy. In this four-session class, we will practice chair yoga, stretches, and massage for workplace wellness. We will learn mindfulness practices for workplace wellbeing. And we will explore resources for good health and nutrition, developing a personalized wellness plan, and getting the support you need for your own wellbeing. Wear comfortable clothing. Leslie Fraser and Alison Ozer, instructors

Career Growth & Learning

Time and Project Management

Thursdays, 1:30 to 3 p.m.
March 1, March 8, March 22
Campus Center Room 165 on March 1, CC 803 on March 8 and March 15

Are you feeling rushed, overloaded, stressed out? Is time managing you? We will explore time management techniques and apps that could help your work life become more workable. We’ll learn different ways to set goals, establish timelines, prioritize multiple tasks, and manage projects. This class could help make your work more manageable, satisfying, and sane.  Leslie Fraser, instructor 

Exploring Jobs and Careers

Sign up for two or three sessions.

Sessions 1 and 2: Career Assessment

Mondays, March 26 and April 2 1 to 3 p.m., Dickinson Room 210

Are you wondering about next steps in your worklife? Do you want to learn some tools to help you figure out the best options for you? The world of work is changing, and workers can access career development, assessment information and research websites that will help in career, education, and jobs planning. This class will help you define your dream job and offer reality checks along the way.  Leslie Fraser, instructor​

Session 3: Resumes, Interviewing, and Networking

Monday, April 9
1 to 3 p.m., Dickinson Room 210

Learn how to create a résumé that works for you, craft a cover letter that promotes your strengths and skills, get ready for an interview, and gather tips on putting your best self forward in the world of work.   Leslie Fraser, instructor

College for a Day Field Trip

Thursday, March 15, 7:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Holyoke Community
Interested in a college education? It could change your life. Try it out for free on Thursday, March 15, at Holyoke Community College, which offers a free transition to college program. We will get you there, and you can take sample classes in: business, forensic science/criminal justice, electronic media/computers, health, nursing, biology, and more. UMass employees are eligible for tuition waivers at Massachusetts public colleges and universities. Learn about night and online classes too. Sign up early—space is limited to the first 10 people.        Fran Fortino, instructor

Career and Education Advising 

Contact Leslie Fraser for an appointment: 545-1600 or lfraser@admin.umass.edu
Could you do almost anything if you only knew what it was you wanted to do? Do you know what you’d like to do, but need help getting there? Would you like some help with work and education goals? Are you planning to start an apprenticeship, technical training, or college program and need some support for going back to school? Make an appointment with Leslie Fraser.

Financial Health

Planning for Your Future

A series of workshops, in collaboration with Gage Wiley, with information from a financial planner, attorney, and insurance specialist. Sign up for one or more sessions.

Session 1: Emergency Planning

Thursday, March 29
10:30 a.m. to Noon 
Campus Center Room 165

Emergencies arise when least expected, and can be traumatic at any time.  But being prepared for an emergency – whether it’s a car accident, a home fire, or an unexpected medical condition -- can make all the difference. Come hear about the different ways that you, and your family, can be prepared for the unexpected.   DJ Morin, financial planner, and Michael Gove, attorney

Session 2: Planning for Life Events

Thursday, April 5
10:30 a.m. to Noon 
Campus Center Room 805

Major life events can affect us all, such as a having a baby, getting married or divorced, buying a home, or the death of a loved one. Planning can play an integral role in being prepared for major life events, and not only help to ease the stress, but ensure that you can continue to achieve what is important to you.   DJ Morin, financial planner, and Michael Gove, attorney

Session 3: Protecting the Next Generation

Thursday, April 12
10:30 a.m. to Noon 
Campus Center Room 804

Estate and financial planning is not only relevant to your wealth, but your children’s as well.  Whether you’re concerned about protecting your assets, minimizing taxes, or supporting a disabled child, it’s critical that planning is put in place to ensure loved ones are protected and assets are preserved and distributed as desired.   DJ Morin, financial planner, and Michael Gove, attorney

Credit 101

Thursday, April 19
10:30 a.m. to Noon 
Campus Center Room 804

We will cover the basics about the wise use of credit, helping you understand your credit report, how credit scores are determined, and offering tips to improve your score. You will also learn about credit cards and what you should always ask when applying for a loan. Michele Welch, Loan originator and AFSCME Local 1776 administrative assistant 

Respectful Workplace

Introduction to Workplace Bullying

July 16, 10 a.m. to Noon, CC 804
August 8, 2 to 4 p.m., CC TBA
September 12, 10 a.m. to Noon, CC TBA
October 4, 2 to 4 p.m., CC 804
November 2, 2 to 4 p.m., CC TBA
December 3, 10 a.m. to Noon, CC 904
January 8, 2019, 10 a.m. to Noon, CC 804

All new faculty and staff need to take an Introduction to Workplace Bullying workshop, jointly offered by Labor/Management Workplace Education and Workplace Learning & Development. If you are a recent UMass employee, please sign up for this introductory workshop; in it you will learn how to define workplace bullying and the UMass/Amherst campus procedures and resources to address bullying and create a respectful workplace. 

Becoming an Active Bystander: Stopping Workplace Bullying

Spring date, time, and location TBA
Have you seen behavior that hurts or undermines other staff? Do you want to help create a campus community where everyone is respected? Join us for a class that will help you stop and change hurtful behavior. Instead of being a passive bystander—wondering what to say or do—learn new skills for change and empowerment, and become an active bystander.    Melissa Scheid Frantz, instructor

Register Now!