University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance

Fall 2015 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.

Working Better Together

Communication and Leadership - DEVELOP YOUR SKILLS AS A LEADER
Tuesdays, 1 to 2:30 p.m., October 6 to November 3, Campus Center Room 903

Are you interested in becoming a supervisor? Are you a union leader looking for skills to improve communication and conflict management? Do you want to grow your leadership skills? The first three sessions of this 5-session class will cover effective communication, teamwork and working with groups, problem solving, managing conflict, and leadership styles. The last two sessions will focus on active listening and practicing healthy conversations, managing conflict, and communicating across differences when emotions run high. This class could help you further your job and career goals.   —Leslie Fraser, instructor

Career and Education Advising - Contact Leslie Fraser for an appointment: 545-1600 or

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? Make an appointment with Leslie Fraser.

Communications and Writing

Writing Our UMass Stories
Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., November 10 to December 1, in Photo Lab 302

Do you want to improve your writing? Do you have a story to tell? Participants will focus on stories for possible publication. We will use writing exercises, class feedback, and writing resources to discover what makes for good writing and keeps readers interested in what you have to say. Everyone is welcome—bring a computer or a notebook and pen, along with your UMass stories. —Leslie Fraser, instructor

Writing at Work: Sign up for one or more sessions below.
Mondays, November 2 to November 16, 11 - 12:30 p.m., in 210 Dickinson —Leslie Fraser, instructor

1. Writing with Power - November 2, We will review the basic rules for good writing, and using powerful words to improve your writing.

2. Texting @ Work J: Why  Email Is Different - November 9, Don’t use texting shortcuts when you email at work! This workshop covers basic email etiquette, correspondence, and responding to questions and requests using email. 

3. How to Say It & Get Your Message Out - November 16, Promoting events, writing copy for e-blasts, delivering your department news… what works? If you have a project you are working on, bring it to class!



In addition to the classes listed below, Workplace Education is working directly with AFSCME Local 1776 and USA/MTA to offer anti-bullying education to union leaders and representatives. Workplace Education and Workplace Learning & Development are working with PSU/MTA to offer similar workshops. We anticipate working with GEO (the graduate students’ union) in the near future.

Introduction to Workplace Bullying
Thursday, 11/19, Campus Center 168c & Friday, 12/4 Campus Center 165-69, both are 10am-12pm.

All new faculty and staff need to take an Anti-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.  Co-facilitated by LMWEP and WLD

Becoming an Active Bystander - Stopping Workplace Bullying
Mondays, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., December 7 and December 14, Campus Center Room 917

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.  The third session will be devoted to practicing the active bystander skills learned in the first two sessions. Co-taught by Leslie Fraser and Amy Brodigan

Green Your Home!

Save Energy & Save Money. These three very popular workshops will show you concrete ways to save energy and money with home retrofits and solar energy options!

Low-Cost Home Energy Options & More
Thursday, November 5, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Campus Center 903

In this workshop you’ll learn twelve different ways to really lower your energy usage, cut your utility bills, and help the environment. Most are free or low-cost, while others require some investment, including heat pumps. All have very good returns on the investment.  You’ll also learn where to find funds to do energy upgrades to your home. Taught by Peter Talmage, former Greenfield Community College energy efficiency instructor.

Solar Hot Water
Thursday, November 12, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Campus Center 903

Find out how solar hot water systems work and what state and federal incentives are available for your home. A two-collector solar hot water system can provide 60-70% of the hot water for a two- to four-person household. State rebates can help reduce costs of a two-collector solar hot water system to about $2500 or less! Solar hot water collectors can be matched up with many different backup sources.  A free home site evaluation option is included. Taught by technical staff from Stiebel-Eltron  in Hatfield, MA.

Solar Electricity
Thursday, November 19, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Campus Center 903

Learn how solar electric PV (photovoltaic) systems work and ways to make it affordable right now. Solar electricity benefits include:
•    Reduction or elimination of your electric bill
•    Increased resale value of your home, but not your taxes
•    30% federal tax credit on your PV system
•    $1000 state tax credit
•    Cash rebates up to $3250
•    Income through the sale of Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs)
•    25 year equipment warranty
•    System payback within 5-7 years
You’ll also be able to set up a free home site consultation visit. Taught by local PV installers from Northeast Solar.

Health and Wellness

Getting Healthy and Eating Healthy - WORKPLACE EXERCISES AND INFORMATION
Thursdays, 1 to 2:30 p.m., October 8 to October 29, in Campus Center Room 803

Many of us know what to do when we get sick, but we’re not sure about how to be—or stay—healthy. We’ll learn about wellness programs in the region, and focus on healthy eating—tips for making healthier diet choices, along with coaching and motivation ideas to keep us on track. We’ll also practice mindfulness, yoga, and workplace wellness exercises. Wear comfortable clothing. —Leslie Fraser and Alison Ozer, instructors

Mindfulness Meditation - Stress Reduction for the Workplace
Thursdays, 1 to 2:30 p.m., November 5, November 12, November 19, in Campus Center Room 917

Mindfulness has been defined by teachers such as Jon Kabat-Zinn at UMass Medical School as awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, to life as it is, moment-by-moment. Mindfulness meditation is a well-respected way to support your health and wellbeing, at work and at home, giving you a better quality of life and work, while reducing the harmful effects of stress, pain, and illness. —Adi Bemak, instructor of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Working in the UMass System

Job and Career Pointers, Mondays, 12:30 to 2 p.m., October 5, October 19, October 26, in 210 Dickinson

Workshops that help you to navigate the UMass workplace. Sign up for one or more sessions.

Session 1: Resumes and Cover Letters
This session will help you evaluate your skills, review your résumé, look at different résumé styles, and get feedback on how to present yourself in writing. We will also review cover letters and thank-you correspondence in the job search process. Bring your résumé, if you have one. -Leslie Fraser, LMWEP Coordinator of Campus Career Initiatives


Are you wondering how the UMass Employment Exchange process works? Do you know how to fill out the online application and make sure that your résumé and cover letter are included in your job application? We will go through the online process with staff who can help you understand how it works. -Yvonne Campbell and Carmen Jimenez, Employment Office.

Session 3: Making a Good Impression and Interviewing  

Now that your résumé is ready to go, we will practice interviewing skills and tips for presenting yourself to others. We’ll also learn about networking, informational interviewing, communicating, and making connections—in person and through social media.  -Leslie Fraser, LMWEP Coordinator of Campus Career Initiatives

Financial Health

Investing in Your Future
Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., October 20, October 27, November 3, in Campus Center Room 805

A series of workshops, in collaboration with the UMass Five College Federal Credit Union. Sign up for one or more sessions.

Session 1: Budgeting Basics: What are you saving for?

This budgeting overview presents five basic steps to better money management in an easy-to-understand manner. Learn how to set realistic financial goals, create a budget, and understand how to use credit wisely. This workshop also includes over 200 money saving tips you can start using right away. Taught by staff at UMass Five College Federal Credit Union.

Session 2: Paying Down Debt

Debt is a burden many of us want to lighten. Attend this workshop to learn useful tips on paying down debt quicker, all while avoiding late fees, through these workable ideas! Basic budgeting is covered, but the focus is on learning how to pay down debt. Taught by staff at UMass Five College Federal Credit Union.

Session 3: Safeguarding Your Savings and Estate Planning

Attorney Dave Carlson will discuss information on wills, trusts, advance directives, Medicaid eligibility, and other issues related to estate planning. Come and learn how to plan for your own or your family’s wellbeing. Taught by attorney David G. Carlson.

Top of page