Professional Development

What We Do

The Organizational Development (OD) Team is responsible for face-to-face and online learning opportunities related to keystone events such as New Staff Onboarding and Fall Conference, in addition to workshops and training posted on the MSU Extension Organizational Development Events page and online courses in Desire2Learn (D2L). Unless another organizational development team member is coordinating or leading a training, Anne Baker, Learning and Talent Development Specialist, is the point of contact for professional development. 

Most of the training coming from the OD team focuses on topics that cut across multiple disciplines.  More content-based ("technical") training often comes from work teams and institutes. Some important resources for you to know about include:

Top Training Sources

MSU Extension: New Staff Orientation  Self-paced course in Desire to Learn. All new employees are enrolled in this course automatically, and are expected to take it in the first few months of employment.
Essential New Employee Training Self-paced course in Desire to Learn. All new employees are enrolled in this course automatically, and are expected to take it in the first 3-4 months of employment. Topics: Budgets, Civil Rights, MS Outlook Productivity, P-Cards, Travel Expense Reports, Zoom, Brand Standards & Marketing, Meeting Efficiency, Philanthropy & Development.
VEND Cash Register System Self-paced course in Desire to Learn. This course is required for anyone who will be using the cash register and VEND system. You can self-enroll here then enter through Desire2Learn.
Evaluation Expedition Self-paced course in Desire to Learn. Employees involved in program evaluation or who want to better understand how programs are evaluated should take this course.
Teaching and Learning Self-paced course in Desire to Learn. This is a growing collection of modules for those who develop or deliver educational content. You can self-enroll here then enter through Desire2Learn.
MSU Extension: Leading & Managing Self-paced course in Desire to Learn. This course, which is still under pilot, is recommended for anyone in a supervisory role. Contact amb@msu.edu to be added.
Grants Development 101 Self-paced course in Desire to Learn. This course, which is still under pilot, is recommended for anyone who currently applies for grants or anticipates doing so in the future. You may self-enroll here and then enter through Desire2Learn.
Fundamentals for Designing an Online or Blended Course Self-paced course in Desire to Learn. This course includes best practices for creating an online/blended course that is engaging, interesting, and effective for your intended audience. Course topics include design, communication, accessibility, learning objectives, assessments, instructional content, and course activities. This course will be launching in December 2018.
Online Course Development Group Monthly Zoom Meeting. This cohort is for any MSU Extension staff member who is interested in offering an online course. Topics range each month from innovative technology practices, pedagogy, demonstrations of current courses, guest speakers, and more. To join this group contact Gwyn Shelle at heyboerg@msu.edu.
Zoom Training & Resources Live Zoom Sessions. Training is available each month on how to use Zoom Meetings and Zoom webinars. Training dates/times are available through the OD News email. Contact Gwyn Shelle at heyboerg@msu.edu  for any questions or for custom training sessions. A self-paced D2L course for both meetings and webinars will be available January 2019!
Leadership Programs Various multi-day, face-to-face programs in leadership. See our Leadership Development page. 
elevateU- various topics Self-paced courses that are accessed through elevateU, in EBS. Log into ebs to access it under "My Career and Training." You have access to thousands of searchable videos and courses. Our favorites are kept in The Library under Unit Specific Programs > MSU Extension.
What Every Extension Worker Should Know PDF of book. Resource for acquainting new faculty and staff to the basics of Extension.
Varied MSU resources Various: Most are face-to-face and/or Zoomed. MSU has many other useful training resources: Explore some Extension favorites on the MSU Training Resources page.


If you are looking for training on a specific topic, reach out to Anne Baker, Learning and Talent Development Specialist.

Tracking Training

If you are planning to host an internal professional development event for MSU Extension employees, please fill out the short Training Tracking Form so we are aware of training happening across Extension and can extend our help if it is needed. 

We are currently creating an inventory of professional development resources through MSU Extension, MSU, and outside resources. Contact Our Learning and Talent Development Specialist, Anne Baker, for suggestions if you have a specific training need.

Financial Support for Training

There are two endowed funds that are available to Extension staff for pursuits of professional development and advanced degrees: The Endowed Fund Award (general professional development) and the K.J. Moilanen Memorial Scholarship Fund (degree work). You should also view the funding available through MSU Central Human Resources' Tuition and Education Assistance Program.

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