Professional Development

UW Tacoma is committed to providing growth and development opportunities for our employees. Professional development is an essential part of an employee's job and benefits both the institution and the individual. While the responsibility for career and professional development rests with each staff member, UW Tacoma provides its employees with a variety of resources and assistance in reaching professional and career goals.

In response to a directive from former Chancellor Debra Friedman, a task force was formed early in 2014 to explore professional development at University of Washington Tacoma. In the summer of 2014, UWT leadership approved an initiative to create a useable and sustainable structure for professional development at UWT. This decision was based, in part, on the following PREMISES:

With these statements, the following ROLES were also established:

The structure was created and will be continually updated, based on the following FRAMEWORK:

Recognizing that professional development happens in many ways, we have created opportunities in conjunction with the Seattle campus (POD classes, CareLinks classes, and required trainings).

Additionally, our Essential Supervisory Skills Workshop has been created and delivered to various organizational units on campus for the purpose of management development. 

Taking advantage of the rich resource of skilled campus leaders and experts, we provide a Special Topic in Management Practice 3-4 times per year.

Most recently, we have added a feature for consumption of all faculty and staff:Online Modules provide a vehicle for professional development accessible immediately on your desktop, laptop or mobile devices.These modules can be viewed in segments or all at once, and can be accessed again and again for reference. We will continue to add to this menu over time.

Finally, our goal is to provide and expand all kinds of ideas and opportunities for growth and new learning.  We offer here the “Menu of Professional Development Options”.  This menu is for your use—AND we hope it will get the creative juices flowing to imagine all kinds of professional development options for ourselves and our staff members.

Think Outside the Workshop!
Menu of Professional Development Options

Learn from the Work Itself Learn from Colleagues Learn through Teaching Reflective Learning Learn with Others
Take on stretch assignments (assignments at a higher level of complexity and skill) Join or start a study group, journal club, or  community of practice Mentor others Write case studies and articles Join online discussion groups
Participate in a cross-division or office working group Find a mentor for yourself Read and report to your team on what you read Solicit feedback Take an online course or workshop
Develop or improve a process, procedure, or practice Actively participate in shared learning experiences with your team Teach a workshop or course Keep a journal Attend workshops, seminars, and conferences
Learn and apply a new method or technique Join a LinkedIn group at Present at a conference Read a book Volunteer in your community
Take on temporary assignments Network (meet periodically with other professionals to learn about their experiences and challenges) Share what you learn with your team Create your personal vision and mission statement Participate in professional associations


Current Offerings

Do you have questions regarding professional development opportunities at UWT?  Do you have suggestions or ideas for topics that you would like to see offered? Contact UWT HR!

Here are some online modules for UWT staff:

Employee Onboarding

An employee's first days and weeks on the job are a critical time to begin building a successful working relationship. This is your opportunity, as a manager, to set goals and expectations, train your new employees on job-specific tasks, and introduce them to others who will play a role in their professional life in your unit and throughout campus.

The onboarding module describes the value of a good onboarding process AND the cost of poor onboarding! We also provide tools and resources to help you craft and implement your own excellent onboarding process.

Go to Employee Onboarding Module

Stretch Assignments

Stretch assignments provide opportunities to employees and supervisors alike. These assignments enable folks to go in new directions, cover work due to reorganization or vacant positions, try tasks that seem interesting, and generally add interest to the work day for all. The module on stretch assignments provides background, ideas about process, templates and examples.

Go to Stretch Assignment Module

Professional Development Planning


UW Tacoma employees can and should take charge of their own professional development. The purpose of this course is to encourage employees and supervisors to take a serious, active and ongoing role in professional development. We will provide you with some philosophy, steps to take and tools for viewing the horizon of career management to start the journey into any individual’s professional development.

Go to Professional Development Planning Module


Influence Without Authority

Most of us will encounter situations in the course of our careers where we come face to face with the following dilemma: We have information, experience and great ideas, but we do NOT have the power or authority to make a decision about the course of action to take. In this module, provided for use by the UW International Training & Education Center for Health, we provide users with ideas and tools that will help individuals overcome obstacles and move forward with confidence.

Go to Influence Without Authority Module

Embracing and Managing Conflict

Conflict in the workplace is a fact of life. Many people deal with conflict by NOT dealing with it at all. They view conflict as uncomfortable, and when faced with the choice of “fight or flight”, they will most definitely choose “flight”. In the following module we invite participants to view conflict as a concept to embrace: conflict, when approached in a healthy and managed way, provides a vehicle for creative thinking and roads to needed change.

Go to Embracing and Managing Conflict Module

Team Building

This module, made available for our use by the UW International Training & Education Center for Health, provides case studies, philosophy and tools for solid management practices in team building. Using resources from authors Bruce Tuckman, Peter Lencioni and Stephen R. Covey, you will be able to diagnose the functioning of your team, identify potential threats to effective teamwork and choose strategies for strengthening team functioning.

Go to Team Building Module

Required Training

Most of these training sessions are required of all new staff employees. UW Tacoma offers these on campus on a regular basis. Please see below for more details!

New Staff Orientation

The UWT New Staff Orientation is required for all new UWT staff and will cover important information specific to UW Tacoma. Orientation generally takes place on the fourth Friday of every month from 1-2 pm in Joy 207. If you would like to attend the orientation, please contact Iris Marx.

New employees should also register for an in-person Benefits Orientation held weekly at the UW Seattle Campus.  Benefits packets will be provided at the orientation.  An online Benefits Orientation is also available for those who are not able to attend an in-person session.  The online orientation can also be a reference for employees who expect to attend an in-person orientation, yet want to review their benefits enrollment information and options online in advance.

For faculty orientation, please contact Alison Navarrete.

Ethics Training

The University of Washington and the UW Tacoma Campus is committed to a culture of integrity and ethical practices in line with the Ethics in Public Service Act, and to informing and equipping employees with the needed information on state laws and their application at UWT.

Course Description: This course teaches a principled approach to ethics in public service. Participants gain understanding of the Ethics in Public Service Act and what it covers, learn to comprehend basic standards for public service, and identify common rationalizations and intervention techniques. Training presented by Richard Cordova, UW Executive Director of Audits, Internal Audit.

This training is required of all UWT staff employees and should be repeated at least once every five years.

There are no sessions currently scheduled for UW Tacoma. In the meantime, Online Ethics Training is available through UW Internal Audit, or you may register for the training course "Ethics Law and the U" through UW Professional and Organizational Development on the Seattle Campus.

Online Asbestos Awareness Training

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries requires ALL state employees to receive asbestos awareness training. This training can be quickly and conveniently completed online. The First-Time Training takes about 15-20 minutes. For those renewing their training, the new Refresher Training takes about 5-10 minutes.

Have your UWNetID, your supervisor’s name and email address ready so that a training record can be sent to your supervisor to verify your completion of the course.  Supervisors will be notified when their employee completes this training and will follow-up as necessary to ensure that all employees in their units have satisfied this requirement.

Prevention of Sexual Harassment Training

The University of Washington Tacoma is committed to protecting the rights and dignity of each individual in the University community. Discrimination on the basis of "sex" includes sexual harassment. This training will help you to identify and resolve situations of perceived sexual harassment and to understand applicable laws.

Attending the Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PSH) Training is REQUIRED of all regular university employees and should be repeated at least once every five years. These sessions are open to all faculty, staff and student employees.

There are no sessions scheduled for UW Tacoma at this time. View the schedule for upcoming PSH training sessions at the UW Seattle Campus.

Note: Student employees are employees of the University and are responsible for compliance with employment policies, including Prevention of Sexual Harassment. Departments are encouraged to have their student employees attend the training when available on campus. For students unable to attend the training, departments are responsible for ensuring the students' awareness, understanding and compliance with policy. Because of the transitory nature of student employees, HR does not follow up with student employees to ensure attendance.

Safety of Minors

The University of Washington does not tolerate child abuse. Suspected perpetrators of child abuse, including University employees, volunteers, or students, may be removed from the premises and may be subject to arrest and criminal prosecution. Employees, volunteers, or students who engage in child abuse in the workplace, or who use University facilities, property, or resources to engage in child abuse are subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal from employment, engagement, or from educational programs.

In June of 2012, Washington State’s Abuse of Children Law was amended to include all higher education employees as mandated reporters of suspected child abuse or neglect. Under Administrative Policy Statement 11.8: Reporting Suspected Child Abuse, all University employees and volunteers who have reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered abuse or neglect must immediately report the suspected abuse or neglect to law enforcement or the Department of Social and Health Services.

UWT employees who work with minors or others have contact with them in the course of their work should complete the Online Training for Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect.

Violence Prevention and Response

The mission of the SafeCampus Program is to foster a safe and secure UW campus community. UW faculty, staff, and students share the responsibility of carrying out this mission.

Course Description: It is impossible to predict who will commit violence or when it will occur, but it is possible to identify situations which might lead to violence. Early identification and intervention with appropriate resources or referrals to services that can assist with coping strategies, reducing stress, and/or resolving problematic situations helps reduce the risk of violence occurring. Learn the warning signs of violence and how to respond in these free sessions.  The training is conducted by Susan Wagshul-Golden, UWT Campus Safety and Security Director, and Adaora Ubaka, UW Safe Campus.  Sessions are open to faculty, staff and students.

This training is required of all UWT staff employees and should be repeated at least once every 2 years.

Currently, there are no sessions scheduled for UW Tacoma.

The UWT SafeCampus Web site provides training videos related to violence prevention and response. The Shots Fired videos address the active shooter scenario, and discuss strategies to help you improve your chance of survival and your important role in helping to prevent such incidents from taking place. The videos called Flashpoint and Shots Fired are staff-oriented; the videos called & Flashpoint on Campus and Shots Fired on Campus are student-oriented. There is also a video about domestic violence situations in the workplace and what you can do to help. The site will request your UW NetID.

UW Professional and Organizational Development

A variety of courses and certifications are available through UW Seattle's Professional and Organizational Development unit. Employees are encouraged to discuss development opportunities and interests with supervisors. Release time may be granted for training that is related to an employee's job responsibilities. Explore Professional and Organizational Development offerings.