The Human Resource Development Program at the University of Houston
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Succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, are all critical topics on the minds of today’s HR Leaders. The University of Houston (U of H) remains one of the few universities embedded within an urban community to help ensure that local organizations have the resources necessary to succeed locally and globally. The Human Development and Consumer Sciences department at U of H currently offers both an Undergraduate (B.S) and a Master’s of Science (M.S.) degree in Human Resource Development (HRD). This article provides information on the following four topics:
3. Advisory Board
5. Global Outreach
Faculty members have expertise in the strategic disciplines of HRD as well as practical experience in the public, private, and non-governmental sectors. Consequently, students benefit because the faculty facilitates learning experiences that are relevant, meaningful, and authentic. Students are able transfer learning to their jobs and organizations.
The HRD curriculum is unique because it retains its fundamentals in learning and performance but remains dynamic to ensure relevance and timeliness with business and industry. The curriculum is diverse and integrated. The program includes courses such as Instructional Design, Adult Learning, E-learning, Design of Organization Development Interventions, and Leadership. The integrated approach provides students a well-rounded perspective of learning, change, transfer and performance in organizations at the local and global levels. The blend of theory and practice, gives students strong problem-solving skills that allows them assess and adapt to any context. The program is also characterized by a concerted effort to helping students “learn how to learn”.
What differentiates this program from other master’s degree programs is the advisory board. The program’s advisory board consists of experts that include consultants and practitioners in public and private organizations. The board regularly interfaces with faculty and students to provide additional perspectives on curriculum and applied projects, while sharing examples of business problems requiring HRD expertise and action. Advisory board members are also regular speakers in the HRD courses, and many serve as mentors. Advisory board members also provide leads on HRD internships and full-time positions.
Student Society of Human Resource Development
Along with having top-notch faculty and access to the advisory board, the student population has also taken ownership of the program’s success. The students manage the Student Society of Human Resources Development (SSHRD) and actively recruit students for the HRD programs. The SSHRD group is associated with the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), providing additional opportunities to network with industry professionals. SSHRD members lead and participate in service projects, and HRD events that promote the development of its members and related communities.
To further the global reach of the HRD programs, a student mentorship program has been established in partnership with the Houston International HR Roundtable. The goal of the mentorship program is to foster new relationships and assist students in better defining their career paths. This mentorship program enhances the global presence and foci of the HRD programs.
If you are interested in furthering your career in Human Resource Development, please contact Dr. Consuelo Waight (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr. Holly Hutchins (hmhutchi@Central.UH.EDU).
[Editors Note: Thank you to the faculty of the HRD program for providing this information. We look forward to working with the HRD faculty and students on a variety of initiatives as we continue to develop Houston as the Global Center of Excellence for International HR.]