4 Important Details Before Taking Professional Development Courses

    • This blog entry was written by Howard Goto, Marketing Specialist for Continuing Education at FPU.
    1. How Do You Contact Customer Service? What happens if you have a question or problem?  How do you contact the institution?  Is there a toll-free number to personally speak with someone or an email address?  I prefer both options because it demonstrates that I’m a valued customer and this institution supports what works best for me.  This aspect is just as important to me as taking the course.  Don’t hesitate to test the process.
    2. How Do You Contact the Instructor? Can you contact the instructor directly before taking the course?  Maybe you have a question about the appropriate grade levels for the course or simply want to bounce ideas of teaching philosophy.  Is the instructor approachable and authentic?  It is quite possible you aren’t sure about choosing this particular course and a simple communication thread will give you the confidence to move forward with your course selection.
    3. Review the Frequently Asked Questions.  Are there FAQ’s that answer questions you might not have thought of?  Maybe an operational concern after completing the course or what does full and partial material fees mean?  Use this section to remind yourself of aspects/processes that are also important.
    4. Accreditation? Does the institution identify their accrediting association?  Who does the accreditation?  Can you review their website for their confirmation of purpose?  If the institution offering professional development courses isn’t a trustworthy institution of learning then you could be in jeopardy of completing a course without the credits.

      Whenever you make an online purchase it never hurts to try contacting customer service before the sale.  Just last week I was corresponding with a couple of software companies about a process that wasn’t clearly explained in their website.  Company A took the time to clearly answer all my questions to my full satisfaction.  Company B investigated my question and responded with a, “Yes, the product is right for you.  …I work on commission so contact me when you are ready and I will get you the best possible price.”   Hmmm, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine which company appears to have my best interest.  We, as consumers, have a choice so enjoy the freedom to use it wisely.