The Learning Academies @ SHSU

Sam Houston State University offers staff and managers of staff professional development opportunities through The Learning Academies. The academies are tied to the university’s strategic priority to “Embody a Culture of Excellence.” The courses in The Learning Academies are all professional development opportunities meant to offer an option for staff to meet their professional development annual requirement (8 hours for staff; 12 hours for managers of staff); to maximize their potential; and to enhance effective leadership.


Track Course Date Time Location Details
LELLeadership at Every Level 60 Laws in 60 Minutes (Zoom) 10/24/2023 10:00am-11:15am Zoom Web Room Details

The Texas Legislature met in the 88th Regular Session from January through May of 2023. 11,807 bills were introduced, and 1,124 of them became law. Powerhouse presenter Gene Roberts, Director of Student Legal and Mediation Services, will discuss 60 laws that might impact and be of interest to the SHSU community. Gene will discuss laws that include education, employment, criminal, family, and other pressing matters, including the new Wellness Capital and Cajun Capital of Texas. Join us for this annual high-energy presentation that will help us understand some of our rights and responsibilities, as well as the breadth and depth of legislative influence.

Professional Development Credit: 1.25

Core Competency: Accountable for ourselves and to others

Availability: All Staff and Faculty

MAManagement Academy Changes in Employment Law 11/03/2023 10:00am-11:30am LSC 324 Details

As a supervisor or manager, you need to know the most up-to-date information on employment law to deal ethically and legally with your employees. For this Management Academy session, the Associate General Counsel for the Texas State University System, Jeffrey Farrell, updates managers on the most recent changes to employment law and how that may impact your management practices and departmental operations. He will offer scenarios for practical decision-making for some of today's hottest employment issues. Note: This session is in-person.

Professional Development Credit: 1.5

Core Competency: Comply Legally & Ethically

Availability: Managers of Staff, and Assistant Chairs and Above

LELLeadership at Every Level Continuing the Magic: A Deeper Dive Into Mentoring 11/08/2023 10:00am-11:30am LSC 230 Details

Expanding on the initial "Magic of Mentoring" Workshop, Dr. Shani Robinson, Associate Dean for the College of Business Administration, will present an extended 1.5 hour workshop that continues a discussion of the key benefits of mentoring and tips for success. In this workshop, attendees will participate in hands-on activities that shed additional insight on developing best practices and strategies that make mentoring most effective for both mentors and mentees. You don't need to have attended the "The Magic of Mentoring" to benefit from attending this event.

Professional Development Credit: 1.5

Core Competency: Empower Others

Availability: All Staff and Faculty


Training University | TU

Available to staff and faculty employees

This track focuses on broader development opportunities in the area of efficiency, effectiveness, communication, and life-long learning. Example topics include:

  • Career Planning
  • Time Management
  • Customer Service Best Practices
  • Effective Conflict Resolution

Training U. also includes the Come-for-Coffee sessions, which are shorter, more intimate sessions that bring a subject matter expert together with those who have a vested interested in learning more about that subject.

  • The Business Case for Diversity
  • How the Money Flows
  • Changes to Mandatory Reporting (Title IX)
  • Reclassifications and Market Studies

Leadership at Every Level | LEL

Available to all staff and faculty employees.

This track is designed to improve leadership skills for employees of all levels. Example topics include:

  • Career Transitions
  • Verbal Aikido
  • Respect and Tolerance
  • Civility in the Workplace

Management Academy | MA

Available to supervisors of staff only

This track focuses on enhancing effective leadership and the larger implications of leadership while managing others. Example topics include:

  • Employment Law
  • Managing Performance
  • Building Trust in the Workplace
  • Verbal and Non-verbal Communication


Staff & Faculty

  • Committed to SHSU’s vision & mission
    • Understand the mission and your place in it
    • Understand SHSU’s role in the community
    • Support the goals of the university
    • Work effectively with people from all backgrounds
    • Treat others with dignity and respect
    • Support diversity in the workplace
  • Innovative in thinking
    • Think “outside the box” when problem-solving
    • Take calculated risks on new and unusual ideas
    • Take an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things
    • While respecting traditions, don’t be bound by traditional approaches for their own sake
    • Actively seek to improve programs or services
  • Effective in communications
    • Speak and write clearly and effectively
    • Listen constructively
    • Practice appropriate telephone and email protocol
    • Ask questions
    • Share information with those who need it
    • Understand and utilize different communication methods for different audiences
    • Understand you are the face of the university and act accordingly
  • Accountable for ourselves and to others
    • Honor commitments
    • Take ownership for all assigned responsibilities
    • Operate in compliance with university policy and state regulations
    • Hold yourself accountable for accomplishing departmental goals and meeting standards
    • Hold yourself to a higher standard of public accountability
    • Actively engage in teambuilding activities
  • Dedicated to life-long learning
    • Keep abreast of new developments in your own occupation or profession
    • Actively seek to develop yourself professionally and personally
    • Contribute to learning opportunities for teammates and colleagues
    • Show a willingness to learn from others
    • Seek feedback for continuous improvement
    • Take advantage of Just-in-Time training to improve your skill set
  • Efficient in operations
    • Deliver on time, within budget, and with the expected quality
    • Set goals and prioritize your work
    • Be flexible; adjust to changing circumstances
    • Use time wisely and efficiently
    • Develop clear goals that are consistent with agreed-upon strategies
    • Maintain work/life balance
    • Manage health and stress, adjusting habits to avoid foreseeable risks which may impact your ability to work


  • Support the strategic plan
    • Understand the Big Picture and communicate it to your team
    • Think globally
    • Manage change
    • Be flexible
  • Provide leadership
    • Let people know where they stand
    • Acknowledge and celebrate team accomplishments
    • Lead with courage—make decisions and stand behind them
    • Face up to problems quickly and directly
    • Don’t be afraid to take negative action when necessary (probation, firing, etc.)
  • Empower others
    • Hire good people and let them do their jobs
    • Use delegation as a developmental tool
    • Provide constructive feedback that helps people to learn from their mistakes
    • Invite input; share ownership, visibility, and responsibility
    • Be aware of each employee’s career goals
    • Encourage people to develop their gifts/skills – even if it means they may eventually leave you or the university
  • Comply legally and ethically
    • Keep up with the legal implications of various management practices
    • Make sure your management practices are well within legal parameters
    • Keep abreast of university policies and fulfill your responsibilities accordingly
    • Use fair and legal hiring practices
  • Manage performance
    • Hold yourself and your employees accountable for accomplishing departmental goals and meeting standards
    • Establish clear expectations and directions
    • Communicate priorities that will help people monitor their performance
    • Use coaching, mentoring, and feedback to help people perform well
    • Organize resources and processes to accomplish the work of the department effectively and efficiently
    • Take action to improve performance deficiencies
    • Recognize and reward good performance
    • Utilize contributions of people from diverse backgrounds and different behavioral styles
    • Promote team cohesiveness
    • Share information
  • Build trust
    • Use fair and legal management practices
    • Don’t discriminate
    • Avoid even the appearance of favoritism or impropriety
    • Do what’s right
    • Tell the truth and be direct
    • Be approachable