The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Staff Resources

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences encourages all staff to pursue professional development opportunities. There are many in-person and online resources that help bridge skill gaps and explore new topics. Compiled below are several professional development resources that staff may find useful. If you have any suggestions for resources not listed, we encourage you to reach out to Saulo DePaula.

SBS Staff Onboarding Resources

There’s a lot to learn when getting started at UMass – whether if you’re new to the University or have transitioned into a new position. SBS has compiled a list of resources that may be useful for onboarding new staff. Some resources apply to all staff, while others may be more role-specific.

Workplace Learning and Development

Workplace Learning and Development (WLD) promotes employee and organizational growth, development, and empowerment by providing innovative, high-quality programs and services. These workshops, offered free to UMass Amherst staff members, represent a significant university benefit.

WLD urges employees to take the initiative for their own professional development by reviewing their workshopsseries, and services and developing an ongoing course of study. Contact WLD if you would like assistance.

The Partnership for Worker Education

The Partnership for Worker Education develops partnerships with employers and unions that address the changing workplace: new skills for employees, as well as employee advancement, engagement, retention, and morale. Learn more about the their classes and career ladders.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning is an online library of in-depth courses on subjects from creative tech tools and techniques to business skills. UMass Amherst students, faculty, and staff have unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning at no cost.

Tuition Benefits

Employees with six months or more of full-time benefited service (or equivalent benefited part-time service), their spouses and dependent children, who are enrolled in a full-time state supported program at any Massachusetts university or community college, are eligible for tuition waivers. For more information, visit the Tuition Benefits webpage.


Professional Development Catalog

There are hundreds of online professional development resources that address a range of topics, including effective communication, computer skills, emergency preparedness, research methods, among others. Below are links to nearly 300 resources that may be of interest to staff and may be funded through SBS Staff Professional Development Grants.

Career Development

Resources include: Fundamentals of ManagementFinance for Non-Finance Professionals, and Introduction to Negotiation.

Computer and IT Skills

Resources include: Excel for Windows/MacIntroduction to HTML and CSS, and Data-Driven Decision Making.

Emergency Preparedness

Resources include: Emergency Planning, Workplace Security Awareness, and CPR Course.

Human Resources

Resources include: Human Resources Management, Diversity and Inclusion for HR Professionals, and How to Manage a Remote Team.

Personal Development

Resources include: Introduction to Public SpeakingLearning How to Learn, and Psychology at Work.

Project Management

Resources include: Google Project Management Professional Certificate, Professional Scrum Training, and Strategic Planning Foundations.

Research Methods

Resources include: Quantitative MethodsIntroduction to Probability and Data, and Basic Statistics.


Conference and Event Catalog

There are a variety of higher education conferences, events, and webinars offered throughout the year, many of which are highlighted in the Conference and Event Catalog. Whenever possible, we encourage everyone to take advantage of these opportunities. Staff should consider applying for an SBS Staff Professional Development Grant, if receiving one would support attending a conference, event, or similar opportunity.


Excel Tutorials

SBS has offered a series of Excel tutorial sessions throughout the semester. Tutorial and practice files, as well as a variety of helpful resources, can be found online. Staff are encouraged to check in with Saulo DePaula if they have any questions related to the sessions or Excel in general. 


SBS Awards and Grants

SBS provides the following staff awards and grants throughout the year:

SBS Staff Professional Development Grant

These grants are open to all full-time staff within SBS and are intended to provide professional development opportunities not otherwise available through existing units. Opportunities may include conference attendance, trainings, webinars, bringing in outside speakers or trainers, and other forms of professional development. We anticipate at least ten grant recipients per year, of up to $1,000 each from SBS, to be matched 1:1 by departments, for a total maximum award of $2,000 per person or group. Departments that provide staff with professional development funds can redeploy those funds towards the departmental match.

SBS Outstanding Staff Award

The SBS Outstanding Staff Award was instituted in 2015 to recognize the contributions and impact of SBS staff members. Recipients receive a $1,000 award and a plaque at an SBS event. Up to two awards will be granted each year. Recipients have demonstrated impact through one or more of the following:

  • Growth in areas of responsibility.
  • Improved a work process or system that significantly increased efficiency or resulted in a fiscal savings.
  • Performed duties with superior integrity and dedication.
  • Favorably represents their office, administrative unit, SBS, and university.
  • Fosters collaboration.
  • Creates a positive and motivating work environment.

SBS Advising Professional Development Grant

These grants are open to all full-time academic and career and professional development advisors within SBS and are intended to provide professional development opportunities not otherwise available through existing units. Opportunities may include conference attendance, trainings, webinars, bringing in outside speakers or trainers, and other forms of professional development. We anticipate offering approximately ten SBS grants of up to $1,000 each year, to be matched 1:1 by departments, for a total maximum grant of $2,000 per person or group. For SBS Pathways Center advisors, the SBS Dean's Office will serve as the "department" match. Departments that provide staff with professional development funds can redeploy those funds towards the departmental match.

SBS Outstanding Advising Award

The SBS Outstanding Advising Award was instituted in 2021 to recognize outstanding contributions to the SBS advising program and student success mission. Recipients receive a $1000 award and a plaque at an SBS event. Up to two awards will be granted each year.