The University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies: Creating Partnerships.

The University of Alabama, through its outreach arm, The College of Continuing Studies (CCS), has been working with businesses large and small to identify training needs and management systems to address their particular problems. For example, the college partnered with Allstate Financial’s Southeast Region headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, to create the multi-phase High Performance Leadership development program to address specific company needs and desires to enhance management skills. High Performance Leadership was delivered on-site at Allstate.

The CCS team is being led by Dr. Robert Prescott, a leading expert in the area of executive leadership.

“Telephone interviews, combined with the latest in leadership research, determined the focus of the program,” Prescott said, “We then customized our efforts around better communication, influence, decision making and accountability. These four essentials made an excellent launch pad for participants to focus on how to be better managers.”

About 80 Allstate field sales leaders have taken part in two half-day training sessions that included determining their current level of leadership understanding, establishing individual leadership goals and developing individual personal plans and actions for achieving those goals. Participants also received personal coaching phone sessions covering topics of their choice such as sales, people management and time management.

Chad Solomon, a Birmingham field sales leader for Allstate Southeast, was one of the participants in the CCS High Performance Leadership training and said he is already benefitting from the program. “I have finished my 90-day plan and am working on sticking to it, which includes being a good resource to the folks I manage and being more efficient with my time,” Solomon stated. “I am also picking up new ideas in the course and am getting great feedback as a result of the things I am implementing.”

In addition to its training partnership with Allstate, CCS has had several recent successes in its efforts to create academic partnerships with large organizations. These partnerships have a great deal of potential at a time when succession planning and employee development are critical for organizations facing the retirement of baby boomers. 

These organizations are allowing CCS to set up UA banners and landing pages in the organizations’ intranets. CCS is in turn providing dedicated enrollment counselors to guide employees in developing a path to help them achieve their educational and career goals. To date academic partnerships have been created with Allstate, CSX Transportation, Harris County (Texas) Deputies’ Organization, Houston Police Officers’ Union, and the Texas Police Trust, which provides benefits for policemen in the entire state of Texas. 

Also, CCS, the UA Career Center and UA’s Director of Veteran and Military Affairs are also currently assisting Regions Bank in its efforts to bring UA military students and veterans into the Regions hiring pipeline. Regions in turn sponsored the UA Service Member to Civilian Summit held in April 2015. 

CCS will continue to look for ways to create partnerships to provide the tools and expertise necessary to help organizations and their employees meet business and educational goals.

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For more information about these programs, please contact Bill Elrod, Director of College Relations at 205-348-2199 or belrod@ccs.ua.edu, or go to www.ccs.ua.edu.