As the Internet, distance education and eLearning change todays workplace, professionals who decide to incorporate new skills or change careers find UMBCs M.A. in Instructional Systems Development helps them meet their goals. Todd Brace, a current student in the program and a training manager for Provident Bank, has added new techniques to his many years of experience in training and human performance development.
Brace actively got into the field of workforce development and training by creating, delivering and ultimately managing a variety of federally funded job training programs throughout Maryland through the community college system. From hot dog factories to companies that manufacture Olympic medals, Brace has acquired a great deal of experience in his field.
The ISD Program has given me a model for re-thinking what I do. Even though I have experience in training and development, I have learned a tremendous amount about the foundational knowledge which has enabled me to do things such as lead my organization through the selection and deployment of an online learning management system (LMS).
For the first time in my career, I found a program that has given me the professional knowledge I need to succeed, says Brace. It takes a comprehensive approach to training and development, and is the only program in the Baltimore/Washington area to offer all of the elements I was looking for. In reviewing over other schools, only UMBCs program contained the entire instructional design model, including theoretical education and learning issues, the technical aspects of ISD, the emergence of human performance technology and appropriate program evaluation concepts.
The program offers a masters degree and three graduate certificates: computer/Web-based instruction, instructional systems development and distance education. Brace completed his computer/Web-based certificate first. What Ive learned in the computer/Web-based courses is a strong technical foundationa foundation that includes assessing content and determining appropriate authoring software needed to partner with our Tech Management Department which I am already applying as my company takes its first steps into the world of eLearning. I use something [on the job] from virtually every class I have taken at UMBC thus far, says Brace.
Brace is currently just past the half-way point in the program, and is pleased with the success of his studies. The immediate results and impact of the ISD Training and Development Program on my job have made every class a great investment.