Workforce Development CERT

Advanced Certificate in Workforce Development

For professionals interested in hiring and developing diverse talent.


In collaboration with Workforce Opportunity Services (WOS) and Teachers College, the Workforce Education & Development (WED) Advanced Certificate was created to address the human capital challenges of growing unemployment for underserved or socially excluded populations.

The WED program is designed for working professionals in human resources, non-profits, higher education, and other institutions who would like to make an impact on not only hiring, but developing diverse talent.

Based on over 10-years of research-based experiences, the one-year hybrid cohort degree program will develop capabilities in strategic advocacy, negotiation, policy and practices, and technology-intensive learning oriented toward workforce innovation.

Participants will create actionable knowledge and improve their capacity to improve workforce development operations. They will have the opportunity to intern at WOS to learn firsthand how they have successfully addressed workforce challenges for Fortune 500 companies during the last 10+ years.

All participants will be paired with a mentor who will advise them throughout the program as they develop and later present their capstone project.

Teachers College Building

Our program objectives will help graduates:

  • Design relevant workforce and education training strategies
  • Utilize digital technology and tools to improve assimilation of underserved and socially excluded adults
  • Develop better negotiation skills to improve the upward mobility of workers from diverse background
  • Create assessment programs to determine workplace success
  • Use innovative communications to improve support services
  • Evaluate public policy surrounding workforce development programs

Faculty Advisors


Art Langer
Professor of Professional Practice; Chairman and Founder, Workforce Opportunity Services

Dr. Arthur M. Langer is the Chairman and Founder of Workforce Opportunity Services. He is Professor of Professional Practice, Director of the Center for Technology Management, and Academic Director of the M.S. in Technology Management programs at Columbia University. He also serves on the faculty of the Department of Organization and Leadership at the Graduate School of Education (Teachers College). 

Dr. Langer is the author of Strategic Information Technology: Best Practices to Drive Digital Transformation (2nd Ed., 2018 with Lyle Yorks), Information Technology and Organizational Learning (3rd Ed., 2018), Guide to Software Development: Designing and Managing the Life Cycle (2nd Ed., 2016),  Analysis and Design of Information Systems (2007), Applied Ecommerce (2002), and The Art of Analysis (1997) and has published numerous articles and papers relating to service learning for underserved populations, IT organizational integration, mentoring and staff development.

Dr. Langer consults with corporations and universities on information technology, staff development, management transformation, and curriculum development around the globe. Prior to joining the full-time faculty at Columbia University, Dr. Langer was Executive Director of Computer Support Services at Coopers and Lybrand, General Manager and Partner of Software Plus, and President of Macco Software.

Amra Sabic-El-Rayess
Associate Professor of Practice; Project Director, Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education (Teachers College, Columbia University) -Affiliated Faculty, Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian and Eastern European Studies (Columbia University)

Professor Amra Sabic-El-Rayess is the author of the highly acclaimed book titled "The Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War, and Survival" (Bloomsbury, 2020). The stunning memoir of a Muslim teen struggling to survive in the midst of the Bosnian genocide - and the stray cat who protected her family through it all - has received several starred reviews calling her memoir "unforgettable" (Kirkus Reviews),  “gripping” (Foreword Reviews) and "an excellent discussion starter” (School Library Connection).

Dr. Sabic-El-Rayess is an interdisciplinary scholar who leverages fields of economics, sociology, and political science to address the questions of radicalization, discrimination, Islamophobia, social mobility, corruption, social transformations, and exclusion of women. She works on concrete ways to facilitate women’s social mobility through better financial inclusion and access to financial services. Her work also examines the role of informal educational practices and formal institutions in creating new societal dynamics, norms, and behaviors. 

 

Lyle Yorks
Professor of Adult & Continuing Education, AEGIS Program Director

Education Background

Ed.D. Columbia University, New York, N.Y. May 1995
M.A. Columbia University, New York, N.Y. May 1993
M.A. Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. May 1972
B.A. Tusculum College, Greeneville, TN. June 1968

Scholarly Interests

Action Learning
Action Research
Collaborative Inquiry
Qualitative Research Methods
Strategic Approaches to Human Resource Development
Strategy Development/strategic Advocacy
Application of adult learning theory to individual, group, and organizational learning, and workforce and organizational development

Beth Fisher-Yoshida
Program Director, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution; Professor of Practice; Vice Chair of Faculty, School of Professional Studies

As Professor of Professional Practice, Beth Fisher-Yoshida, Ph.D. teaches classes in negotiation, conflict resolution, and conflict analysis. Her approach to learning is based on her core belief that when we improve communication by developing more self-awareness, we will have better relationships and improved negotiation practices.

Dr. Fisher-Yoshida is Co-Executive Director of the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity (AC4) and Director of the Youth, Peace and Security (YPS) program, both housed in the Earth Institute at Columbia University. In her role at YPS she has been working to develop systemic approaches to building more effective communities through youth leadership in Medellín, Colombia, using a Social Lab approach.

Industry Advisory Board


Michele Alcazar
Head of Workforce Transformation Strategy, Prudential

Michele L. Alcazar is vice president and head of workforce transformation strategy & execution at Prudential. As a member of the Transformation Office, she is responsible for ensuring that the company builds a future-ready pool of highly skilled talent ready to take on the financial challenges of our customers for another 145 years.

Alcazar has more than 25 years of experience in human resources and organizational development, focusing on building new talent capabilities for global teams. She has deep expertise in developing successful startup organizations, including driving strategies for talent acquisition, talent mobility and employee engagement.

Prior to her current role, Alcazar served as the lead HR business partner for Enabling Solutions as the organization began its journey toward a newly expanding and transformative model for the U.S. Customer Service Center. She also served as head of HR for the Customer Office, leading talent and human resources strategies that powered new digital marketing, product management and data analytics capabilities for Prudential.

In addition to serving in HR leadership roles in several organizations across Prudential, Alcazar has led the communications, planning and governance functions for the company’s global business and technology organization and helped to establish a new technology subsidiary for Prudential’s businesses in Japan.

Driven by a passion for creating innovative solutions to solve our biggest workforce challenges, Alcazar is a member of Prudential’s Racial Equity Task Force and on the Advisory Board for the Workforce Education & Development (WED), Advanced Certification Program at Columbia University Teachers College in New York City.

 She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Management from Stockton University in New Jersey.

Neel Gandhi
Partner, New York
McKinsey & Company

Neel focuses on HR and talent strategy and on productivity. Passionate about the power of people, he specializes in advising clients on how HR and talent can create maximum value for their organizations. He regularly helps industry leaders and global organizations to improve their HR operations, talent-management capabilities, and efficiency, along with their broader business-support structures and processes.

A seasoned adviser on mergers and acquisitions, Neel has led the HR planning and integration process for major transactions in the consumer-packaged-goods, pharmaceutical, healthcare, industrials, and financial-services industries.

Recent examples of his client work include the following:

  • advising a global consumer-packaged-goods company on how to boost productivity—the result was an operating-model shift to shared services and a 25 percent increase in productivity
  • helping a leading retailer create a global talent strategy
  • supporting a pharmacy-benefits-management company in an end-to-end HR transformation, including the design of a new HR operating model featuring shared services, followed by the detailed design and implementation of the new shared services organization and its processes
  • leading a productivity transformation for a global beverage company, including restructuring HR operations across more than 50 countries and rethinking sourcing strategy to increase productivity by over 30 percent

Neel also understands the dynamics and restrictions under which public-sector organizations operate. Examples of his work in this space include managing McKinsey’s role in a public–private effort to develop job creation policies at the federal level and helping a large public-sector agency design and implement an integrated workforce strategy.

 

Jennifer Moran
Lead People Partner for Android at Google

Jennifer Moran is the Lead People Partner for Android at Google.  In this role, she is the Head of People Operations for Android, responsible for an employee base of 3,000+ and partners with Google’s most senior leaders on people strategy in support of 3B+ users worldwide.  Prior to this role, Moran has held other HR leadership roles at Google across Google Play, Google’s second largest business, and Google Cloud, throughout the organization’s rapid, unprecedented growth.

Moran has more than 10 years of experience in human resources, organizational development and talent management spanning a variety of Fortune 100 companies.  She has led clients and teams through exponential growth, M&A activity and organizational transformation.  Moran is passionate about investing in the next generation of talent, coaching leaders and teams and driving talent management efforts at scale.

Outside of work, Moran is a Founding Member and Advisory Board Member at The People Ops Society, a community for People Operations professionals focused on connection, growth and transforming our working world.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the College of the Holy Cross.  Moran is also a graduate of Cornell University’s Strategic Human Resources Leadership Program as well as The Wharton School’s Global Talent Management Leader Program (in partnership with the Talent Management Institute).  She has studied at the renowned Co-Active Training Institute, completing comprehensive training in professional and leadership coaching.  Moran holds the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Global Talent Management Leader (GTML) certifications.

Charles Thomas
President, C.N.Thomas and Associates

C.N.Thomas and Associates president, Charles Thomas, began his career in 1966 at Prudential’s northeastern home office in Boston. He served as Vice President and Head of Human Resources for a variety of key Prudential businesses including Corporate Center Oversight Operations, Healthcare and Operations and Systems. He also served as the Vice President of Human Resources for the International Insurance and Investment Division. A top priority in each of his assignments was talent management and the on-going challenge of attracting and retaining world class employees.

He served as Vice President of Career Development and was responsible for developing company wide learning and development programs. A highlight in this role was the development and rollout of a program to enable all levels of leadership and management to manage diversity.

Charles also has an extensive background in operations. He served as Executive Vice President of Prudential’s Service Company in addition to serving as the unit’s Chief Administrative Officer and directing Asset Property Management, and Facilities Management of home office properties. Additionally, he served as General Manager of Underwriting for Prudential’s eastern home office. Charles’ tenure in these roles was marked by improved operating efficiencies, customer service and significantly reduced expenses.

Charles retired from Prudential in 2004 and founded C.N.Thomas and Associates in 2005, a consultancy that focuses on strategic planning, executive coaching, team building and talent management.

Charles has provided consulting services to a cross-section of businesses in the corporate, non-profit, and small business sectors. Companies include Prudential Financial and Burlington. Non-profits include Fathers United for a Better Trenton, First Baptist Church, Black Leadership Forum, Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Boston, Samaritan House of Boys, and Community Services Advisory Board. Small businesses include, African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, Delucia Dentistry and Willoughby Golf Club.

The range of services provided to these clients included:

  • Serving as interim Executive Vice President, Human Resources
  • Developing strategic plans and serving as a sounding board and thought leader for CEO’s

Programs developed included:

  • Team building exercises for board members
  • An intervention to serve as a coach for several cohorts of Black employees to improve retention
  • Workshops on Empowerment and Growth from peer to peer sharing of lessons learned

Motivational speaking engagements included:

  • Samaritan House for Boys
  • Black Leadership Forum

Courses

Course Number

Course Name

Course Description

Credits

Faculty

ORLD5054

Strategy Development as a Learning Process in Organizations

This course provides a comprehensive view of organizational strategy from a strategic learning perspective. Students study and apply various strategic learning practices and tools for facilitating strategic initiatives through learning interventions. Particular attention is paid to how one positions one’s function and self when advocating for strategic change.

3

Lyle Yorks

ORLJ5340

Basic Practicum in Conflict Resolution

This practicum provides experience in developing basic collaborative negotiation and mediation skills for interpersonal conflict in a variety of contexts. It is an experiential course and students will have the opportunity to develop more self-awareness and basic collaborative negotiation skills with supervised practice.

3

Beth Fisher-Yoshida 

ORLD5060

Learning and Technology in Organizations

This course responds to the complex and various dilemmas faced by many human resource managers and corporate executives regarding how to actually deal with the impact of technology on employee learning and management. Students will learn concepts and skills that will enable them to better understand the complex working environment and the relationship between the workforce and the organization

3

Arthur M. Langer

EDP4027

Education and Social Transformations: Elites and Inequalities in Transitional Economies

Drawing from several bodies of literature, this course explores critical bridges between education, on one hand, and the complex dynamics of the elite formation, corruption, and economic development, on the other hand. Students will examine the elite dynamics in crises or developing contexts; what role economics and education play in those contexts; and how education systems work to validate or delegitimize the old or new elite. Current events will be incorporated into discussions and presentations. Offered annually.

3

Amra Sabic-El-Rayess

 

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A group of students converse in a study group at Teachers College.

Admissions Information

Advanced Certificate

  • Points/Credits: 12
  • Entry Terms: Fall Only

Application Deadlines

  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer/Fall (Priority): Rolling
  • Summer/Fall (Final): Rolling

Supplemental Application Requirements/Comments

  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Two (2) Letters of Recommendation

Requirements from the TC Catalog

View Full Catalog Listing

The Adult Learning and Leadership program at Teachers College launched a new 12 credit, non-degree, New York State approved Advanced Certificate designed for working professionals in human resources, non-profits, higher education, and other institutions seeking to make an impact on developing diverse talent. The program was created to address the human capital challenges of growing unemployment for underserved or socially excluded populations.

Based on over 10-years of research-based experiences, the one-year hybrid cohort certificate program will develop capabilities in strategic advocacy, negotiation, policy and practices, and technology-intensive learning oriented toward workforce innovation.

Participants will create actionable knowledge and improve their capacity to rethink and enhance their workforce development initiatives.

Program objectives will help graduates:

  • Design relevant workforce and education training strategies
  • Utilize digital technology and tools to improve assimilation of underserved and socially excluded adults
  • Develop better negotiation skills to improve the upward mobility of workers from diverse background
  • Create assessment programs to determine workplace success
  • Use innovative communications to improve support services
  • Evaluate public policy surrounding workforce development programs

Four courses will be taken over two semesters—two courses in the Fall and two courses in the Spring. They will be taught in a hybrid format. Each course will meet in four face-to-face intensive sessions per semester as well as participate in asynchronous online coursework. These courses include:

  • ORLD 5054 Strategy development as a learning process in organizations
  • ORLJ 5340 Adaptive negotiation & conflict resolution
  • ORLD 5060 Learning and technology in organizations
  • EDP 4027 Education and social transformations; elites and inequalities in transitional economies

Participants will apply what they learn throughout the year by participating in group-based projects centered on common interests. Participants will choose projects and form groups based on the challenges and opportunities they wish to address in their current work roles and settings. Through learning by doing—and discussion with others of what is found—participants will create actionable knowledge and build their capacity to improve workforce development operations. Participants will develop a portfolio of work that forms the basis for presentation of findings at conferences or through publications or other means of sharing new knowledge.

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