Leslie Beecher

The importance of professional development in the nonprofit sector

posted by
Leslie Beecher,

Instructional Designer
ASU Lodestar Center  

In today’s world, job roles are constantly changing and new challenges arise in the workplace. Professional development is a great tool to combat these issues and allows all individuals to continue to thrive within their organization. Additional training to individuals can also assist in expanding their knowledge on certain subjects that may be beneficial to them in the future.

Over the past four years, I have worked as an instructional designer in the for-profit education world and am excited to have transitioned into the nonprofit sector. While working in the for-profit sector I had access to the latest technology, studies, and methods to develop professional development courses for organizations such as Meritus University, University of Phoenix and Lockheed Martin. I was able to develop dynamic, innovative, and knowledgeable courses using e-learning tools such as Articulate, Camtasia, Microsoft Office, and worked with graphic artist to develop custom interactive multimedia instruction (IMI). During my time at Lockheed Martin I witnessed many software updates to critical machinery at airports across the country. Because of these updates, professional development courses/training had to be created and administered to airport personnel so that they could effectively continue to use the machinery. However, professional development does not only offer training regarding software updates or how to use a new tool, but professional development is a great way for professionals to enhance and build upon prior knowledge.

While at University of Phoenix, I specialized in the development of faculty workshops for our online faculty members. Many of the workshops and courses I created for our faculty members had nothing to do with how to perform his/her role as an instructor at University of Phoenix. Instead, these workshops and courses offered faculty members opportunities to learn about the latest adult education research, tips and techniques to make their jobs more efficient, and how to find/use additional resources in their courses.