Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Attack of the Never Ending Project

By John Yancey

Projects at work seem to magically appear and at a volume that almost certainly means that one of these projects will fall into your lap sooner rather than later. Now these projects can take many forms along the continuum, but collectively they share one specific challenge that can derail any project and is well worth exploring in more detail.

One of the first decisions that must be made before this journey can even begin is scope.  
  • Who are the stakeholders associated with this project and what roles do they need to play to make the project successful?  
  • What materials will you need to complete the project and how much will all of this cost? 
  • How long will the project take and what are the deliverables that we are required to produce. 
Answering these questions up front can go a long ways towards ensuring that you project gets off to a good start.

But then it happens.  Someone at some point utters the words that are potentially kryptonite to any successful project: “What if we just ...  And it begins, scope creep. 

Once you have taken the time to create a detailed project plan, deviations from that plan need to be considered carefully as they can have a very significant impact. Seemingly small changes can dramatically change project costs, required team members, and the overall project timeline. Now, this does not mean that every change has a negative impact on your project. That simply is not the case. Still, you need to do you due diligence as you exam proposed changes to see how they impact your project and if they are worth taking on. Many times, the best course of action is the stay the course and complete you project as these mid-project changes can be reformatted to be their own new project somewhere down the line. 

In the end, project management is a complete mix of challenges of which scope creep is but a singular player.  The University of North Florida Division of Continuing Education has the tools necessary to help ensure that your next project is a success and more importantly, that you are a success in leading that project.  See all that we have to offer at www.unf.edu/ce

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Subject-Specific Professional Development for K-12 Teachers

Are you a K-12 teacher with a new upcoming teaching assignment? Feeling a bit overwhelmed at how to be ready for the first day of school? UNF Continuing Education is here to help.

UNF is pleased to announce the offering of a unique series of 100 professional development courses designed to provide a significant amount of support to a teacher with a new assignment.




Why take these courses?
100% of teachers have a new assignment at some point, whether you are new to teaching or an experienced teacher. Why not take a course that matches your daily teaching responsibilities? This is a practical, economic and convenient, "just-in-time" solution to prepare for a new assignment. Also, many of the courses may qualify for CE units for recertification.

What is included?
Included is everything a teacher with a new assignment would typically need to prepare themselves for the whole school year: Teacher manual with instructional support material that includes syllabus, pacing guide, detailed daily lesson plans, class notes (editable PowerPoint presentations for lecture support), complete student activity book or lab manual, editable assessments and keys, subject-specific mentoring teacher access.

What subjects are available?

There are 100 courses offered within the following subject areas:

Advanced Placement (AP)
Language Arts (English)
Art (music listed separately)
Mathematics
Business and Computer Science
Music
Cambridge International Curriculum
Physical Education
Communications
Reading Endorsement
Exceptional Student Education
Science
Family and Consumer Science
Social Studies
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Technology
Languages
Vocational

Click here to view 100 course description and enrollment pages online.

Funding
UNF teacher prep course tuition and materials may be funded or reimbursed through Federal NCLB Title 2a (Improving Teacher Quality State Grants, 100% PD), Title 1 (up to 10% for PD), and/or state and local PD budgets.

We're centrally located at the UNF Adam W. Herbert University Center, 12000 Alumni Drive, Jacksonville, Fla. 32224. For more information about any of our programs, contact us at (904) 620-4200 or unfce@unf.edu.

Get to Know Casey Knowles, new Accounts Payable Specialist

In our next "Get to Know" new staff post series, we interviewed Casey Knowles, new Accounts Payable Specialist at UNF Continuing Education. As you read the following Q and A, you will see why Casey has become an integral member of our team so quickly. We are delighted to welcome her and know that you will want to do the same. Her contact information can be found at the end of the interview.

Casey, could you share some background information of your professional career? 

Casey: My adult career started in insurance.  I was a file clerk for a year and then started making my way through the company.  "One and Done" was the motto so I eventually learned billing, processing, and Builders Risk Ins. My final step was Underwriter for Property/Casualty Ins.   I left the insurance world when a position needed to be filled as the Director of Children’s Ministry at my church.  I did that for 2 ½ years and got a full-time job for a commercial distributor doing customer service, shipping, and AP/AR.  Five years later I applied at UNF in the Physical Facilities department doing accounting work and have moved around trying to find my place.

Why did you want to work at UNF Continuing Education?


Casey: I accepted the job in CE because it’s different than any other department on campus.  I’m a firm believer in keeping the mind tuned and doing things that you love and Continuing Education gives you the opportunity to do that.  Being a student at UNF as well, I felt like working here and taking classes would be accepted and encouraged.  CE also just seemed like a good fit.  There were things to learn, but the skills I gathered from Phys Fac and AP really made me feel confident that I could do this job.

How would you describe your role at UNF Continuing Education?

Casey: My role here in CE is to keep everyone on track with payments to instructors and vendors, P-card transactions, and accounting/budget needs.  I work closely with all the program managers and staff to make sure payments are made timely so they can move on to the next project.  My motto is “Teamwork makes the Dream work”.  I like that my job allows me to interact and help out wherever I can.


Anything else you want us to share about you?

Casey: I’m on the USPA Committee, Parking Advisory Council, and help out with EH&S projects on campus (Garbage on the Green, Recycle-mania, etc.).  I enjoy working on projects around campus and getting to know the faculty and staff.  I also believe that the Staff needs to be a presence on campus and that getting involved with the students helps them learn that volunteering doesn’t stop after graduation.  There are needs to be met all over the world and as abled bodies we should be making a difference.


Also:
  • I love my cats
  • I’m getting my degree in Health Administration
  • I’m an introvert trying not to be
  • I sing (mostly church and karaoke) 
 Send Casey a welcome note to c.knowles@unf.edu or say hello by phone at (904) 620-4230.