Penn State’s Online Enrollment in Employment Relations and Human Resources Programs Continues to Grow

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Employment relations and human resources education programs delivered online through Penn State’s World Campus enable working professionals to conveniently acquire new knowledge and skills needed for career advancement.

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It is critical that we prepare students for the domestic and global workforce economic issues of the 21st century.

Penn State’s School of Labor and Employment Relations has been offering education programs online since 2008, when it launched the first of seven online programs delivered through Penn State’s World Campus. Online enrollment is continuing to grow and totaled 1,415 for 2012–13.

"Our online programs have had a significant impact on the growth of our school," said Paul Clark, professor and head of the school. Penn State’s Board of Trustees approved the department’s change to a school, in part, due to online enrollment growth, while continuing to reside in the College of the Liberal Arts. "Online programs generate the resources to hire more faculty and establish the Center for Global Workers Rights and International Human Resources Management Project."

The school’s online programs include: Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations (HRER), bachelor of arts and bachelor of science in labor and employment relations, Undergraduate Certificate in Labor and Employment Relations, labor and employment relations minor, and bachelor of science and bachelor of arts in organizational leadership.

Offered since 2008, the HRER master’s degree prepares students for the challenges of hiring and retaining talented employees, managing complex benefit plans and working with labor laws and employment-related issues. Two current HRER students are using their new knowledge and skills on the job.

Dan Garrison of Anderson, S.C., is involved in international human resources. "Penn State’s program is an ideal match for my needs," said Garrison, who travels for work. The HRER program’s on-campus learning sessions enabled him to network with faculty and classmates. "It was an absolutely fantastic experience."

Trina Fongyen of Chantilly, Va., chose the HRER program "to have a competitive advantage," said the married mother of a 3-year-old son. "I want to take the next step with my career and prepare for a senior management position," added Fongyen, human resources business manager for SAIC, a FORTUNE 500® company that solves problems in national security, energy and the environment, critical infrastructure, and health.

Clark said, "It is critical that we prepare students for the domestic and global workforce issues of the 21st century."

For information about the Penn State School of Labor and Employment Relations’ online programs, visit the World Campus website.

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