Pima Medical Institute Develops Faculty and Staff into Soft Skills Mentors with the Wonderlic Soft Skills Training Bootcamp™

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Pima Medical Institute in Colorado Springs is using the Soft Skills Training Bootcamp to empower faculty and staff to serve as soft skill mentors.

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The best word I can use to describe what is happening is ‘empowerment.'

Tara Dailey, Campus Director at Pima Medical Institute in Colorado Springs, had already decided to adopt soft skills as her development theme for 2017 when she attended Wonderlic’s presentation at the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools (CAPPS) Conference in October. When Dailey learned about Wonderlic’s Soft Skills Training Bootcamp, she decided it would be a great way to drive the conversation with her faculty and staff. Her plan was to address one soft skill topic every month, and she needed a tool to introduce important concepts related to each soft skill that would make their discussions more dynamic. She was surprised by the results.

“Yes, the Bootcamp addressed my original intent, but it went on to create a life of its own!” Dailey explained in an interview. “The 37 people in the program became more aware of their behaviors and took ownership of the process. Faculty and staff members, who usually had no interaction, were now having extensive discussions about communication. One employee talked about how she responded much differently to an email than she would have before the Bootcamp. During these interactions, members of the group were strengthening their own professional relationships.”

“The best word I can use to describe what is happening is ‘empowerment,’" Dailey said. According to Dailey, she used to spend a lot of time coaching her faculty and staff about interdepartmental matters. But after a month of interpersonal training, employees are managing these issues on their own. “I just sit back and smile at how well this program has been received and the amount of learning I see occurring around me.”

Educators are a highly critical group, and many of her staff have taken online courses before. Dailey had some initial concerns that her faculty members, medical professionals with years of experience, might reject Bootcamp lessons that had been written with postsecondary students and entry-level employees in mind. Her fears were assuaged when her instructors found that Bootcamp modules were a good mix of exercises and challenging to the right degree.

“One faculty member with 15 years of experience said she was shocked by all the different pieces she could take away from the lesson,” Dailey said. “Another made a copy of the Dos and Don’ts of Professional Communication provided within the Bootcamp and posted it in her classroom.”

She can see the lessons trickling down to the students in the classroom. In every class at Pima, part of a student’s grade is based on soft skills. Instructors have gained additional confidence in their ability to mentor students in those skills and assess them at the end of class.

The Bootcamp has also affected internal management processes. One Pima manager uses monthly the soft skills topic in her one-on-one employee meetings as a working dialogue with her staff. They work together to set specific goals and discuss progress the following month.

More importantly, all manager-employee discussions are more productive. Dailey remarked, “People are much more open to discussions about some of the more challenging subjects that need to be addressed, but that are often avoided.”

Talking about the future, Dailey said, “The faculty and staff here at Pima are developing new levels of respect for each other, and new standards for professional interaction and communication. These values should become the pulse of our campus. Our faculty and staff are mentors for our students. We want students to be aware of Pima’s high standards, and to rise to meet them.”

About Pima Medical Institute
Pima Medical Institute is a private, accredited school dedicated to providing students classroom studies paired with real-world training at medical facilities. Established in 1972, Pima Medical Institute helps students become career ready, focusing exclusively on healthcare professions, including medical, dental, veterinary and nursing fields. Curriculum includes certificate, associate degree and bachelor’s degree programs, ranging from nursing, medical assistant and radiology technician to veterinary assistant and dental hygienist.

Pima Medical Institute operates 16 campuses as well as an extensive online curriculum. The medical career college has a presence in eight western states with ground locations in Albuquerque, N.M.; Tucson, Phoenix and Mesa, Ariz.; Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo.; Seattle and Renton, Wash.; Las Vegas, N.V.; Houston and El Paso, Texas; Chula Vista, Calif.; and Dillon, Mont.

About Wonderlic, Inc.
Wonderlic, Inc. is a privately held company headquartered in Vernon Hills, IL and a founding member of the Association of Test Publishers. The company provides businesses and schools with a comprehensive library of highly regarded assessments and surveys for each phase of the hiring and student selection process. In its 75+ year history, Wonderlic has delivered over 300 million assessments and surveys to more than 60,000 organizations, government agencies, and accrediting bodies. http://www.wonderlic.com

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Amanda Opperman
Wonderlic, Inc.
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