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Professional Development Programs

2021 Non-Credit Training Programs

For inquiries about professional development training, please contact Jill Thompson, Associate Director of Professional Development via email at

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Professional Outdoor Industry Certificate

Two guys hiking

WCU is widely recognized as the Southeast’s premier outdoor recreation and adventure university. We are leveraging and combining our academic excellence and experience in professional education with our outstanding and innovative outdoor-focused curriculum and deep connection to the nation’s burgeoning outdoor recreation economy to offer this affordable, dynamic, and flexible professional outdoor certificate.

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Communication Strategies Certificate for Women

retirment text

Many women have built successful careers, but too few women have reached the highest levels in corporations, government, education and non-profit organizations. In ways that men do not, women must navigate a variety of obstacles, including stereotypical views, cultural expectations, and their own self-doubt and lack of confidence.


High Impact Leadership

High Impact Leadership

This five-day leadership certificate program will help you develop personal insights, a better understanding of different working styles, effective communications skills, an understanding of employee relations and business law, and how to maintain a high level of professionalism in a variety of situations including crisis situations.


Digital Marketing and Certificate

Digital Marketing and Public Relations

Create an online marketing communications strategy and powerhouse digital toolbox by completing six, full-day workshops taught by expert marketing and public relations professionals. Gain new insights into PR & marketing strategy, branding, budgeting, online content creation, video creation and use, social media


Cadaver Dog Training Workshops

Cadaver Dog Tranings

Held on campus in Cullowhee, North Carolina, these workshops are offered in cooperation with the Forensic Osteology Research Station and the Emergency Disaster Management Program at WCU. These land-based workshops allow participants to work search areas including grassy fields, mountainous terrain, urban environments, buildings, and vehicles.


Workshops and Certificates in Management and Leadership

Human Resources

One-day and half-day workshops offered online, in Asheville and Cullowhee for managers and leaders. WCU offers continuing education units (CEUs) and is an approved provder for SHRM-PDC and NASBA CPE credits.


Take 5! Organizational Leadership & Transformation Certificate

Man presenting to group

Everything from managing remote employees to living in a world where the line has become blurred between what happens online and offline, means what worked last year could be ineffective in the coming years. Managers and supervisors need to learn how to adapt to a compromised economy and an up-and-coming workforce that’s progressively challenging the “status quo” for work ethics and work habits.


Event Planning Certificate Program

Event Planning

Courses range from customer service to social media strategies, contract negotiations risk factors and garnering return from tradeshows, expos, and fairs. Earning a certificate in Event Planning will expose you to the many different facets of being an event planner from managing people and projects to increasing exposure and dollars for your organization.

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Customized Training for Nonprofit and For Profit Organizations

People sitting around table looking at tablet

WCU offers customized training for organizations at our Biltmore Park Instructional Site and on campus in Cullowhee. Our expert instructors can also come to your location. WCU customizes our professional development training to meet the needs of employees in industries including nonprofit, education, manufacturing, technology, hospitality and tourism.

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Grant Writing Certificate Program

People discussing a grant

Five-day trainings offered for beginning and advanced grant writers! In the introductory program, participants will learn grant writing essentials beginning with searching for grants all the way through follow-up after receiving a grant. Participants will practice drafting materials for a hypothetical or actual grant and receive feedback from the instructor and other participants in order to build skills with key steps in grant writing. In the advanced grant writing program, participants will develop materials for use in a grant application by their organization. 



Certificate Programs

Professional Development

The certificates in Event Planning, Digital Marketing and Public Relations, and the Customer Service Train-the-Trainer Program help prepare professionals to be more productive and successful in their jobs. The training programs are also a great way to develop more experience for people who have new job responsibilities or are transitioning to a new career.


Lean and Six Sigma

Dr. Creasy showing Six Sigma process

Offer process improvement ideas and tools for immediate use at your workplace. Improve your customer’s experience and employees work climate regardless of your industry.

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Teacher Education

Teacher Trainings

These online courses for continuing education credit and teacher training are offered in partnership with Ed2Go as well as Western Carolina University's Faculty. Professional Development, Short Courses and Graduate Programs are all available.

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Online Career Training

Online Career Training

These in-depth, self-paced online courses will get your career headed in the right direction. They are offered in partnership with highly respected national providers.


Online Courses

Ed2Go Online Courses

In cooperation with Ed2Go, a national provider of online instruction, these online courses are offered on a monthly basis and cover a wide variety of skills and board interests. 

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