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Professional Development Programs

2021 Non-Credit Training Programs

Please Note: The University and our offices remain open, although our staff will be working remotely. For inquiries about professional development training, please contact Jill Thompson, Associate Director of Professional Development via email at If you are registered for an upcoming training, please watch your email for updates. Thank you for your patience during this time. We look forward to continuing to serve our community, locally, regionally and globally.

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Professional Outdoor Industry Certificate

Two guys hiking

To help usher in a new era of growth and success in the outdoor recreation industry, WCU is launching an innovative Professional Outdoor Industry Certificate program with two tracks that offer core workshops in either Small Business and Entrepreneurship or Leadership and Management.

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Retirement Planning Now

retirment text

Retirement Planning Now is designed to deliver comprehensive, objective information to help you achieve your most important financial goals.  The course covers many key aspects of planning for retirement such as income tax planning, retirement income and expenses, risk management, investment management, and estate planning

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.


Speaking to Lead, Inspire and Influence

Man presenting to group

Managers and leaders realize the importance of continuous improvement and understand effective communication is integral to success. Whether speaking to employees, clients, B2B partners, community groups, or the media, an effective manager or leader learns to adapt the message and their approach to the audience. 


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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