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USM introduces new human capital development program

Finding and developing trained employees is an ongoing struggle in the business community. Now, one of Mississippi’s public universities has launched a new working professional-friendly degree program to help meet the issue.

The College of Science and Technology at the University of Southern Mississippi recently formed the Department of Human Capital Development at the university’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach, according to a release from USM.

The department features the human capital development doctoral program, the master of science degree in workforce training and development, the applied technology bachelor’s degree and the training and development certificate program.

Under the direction of Dr. Cyndi Gaudet, who serves as both department chair and professor, the graduate programs are delivered in an executive program format. This allows busy working professionals from Mississippi and beyond to complete a graduate program while working full-time.

“The graduate programs in the Department of Human Capital Development attract students from coast to coast, whose research has won both national and international awards,” said Gaudet. “Human capital is identified as the number one challenge in 2013 for CEOs around the world by The Conference Board, the world’s most widely-quoted private source of management and economic research.”

With approximately 70 students, the academic programs in the Department of Human Capital Development provide students with opportunities to conduct research with experienced scholars. The department, which features three full-time tenure track faculty and a professor of practice, have conducted more than $5 million in applied research from sponsors that include NASA, the U.S. Department of Labor and other agencies. Research expertise includes competency model development, change leadership, talent management, and workforce re-skilling.

“More and more organizations, large and small, are focusing on people-driven strategies to grow talent internally and provide employee training and development to counter the sluggish economy and improve performance,” Gaudet said. “Our graduate programs ground students in theory and practice, preparing them to make a difference in today’s marketplace.”

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