Human Performance at WMU

Performance Improvement for the Next Generation:
n example of a better exchange between business and academia

One of the great joys of my career has been to partner with Western Michigan University to help prepare the next generation to use Human Performance Technology to improve business results

I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Dale Brethower Ph.D and Dr. Alyce Dickinson; Ph.D.; Department of Psychology to provide opportunities for teams of graduate students to apply their classroom instruction with actual projects in the work environment.

Our partnership is designed to maximize transfer-of-training from the classroom to the real world.  The graduate students learn how to effect organizational changes via a linked analysis at the organizational level, work process level and performance management level. 

Our partnership has included applications of an Advanced Systems Analysis Class, a thesis application and experience in the development of job aids.  Students, professors and business partners have indicated they have all gained a great deal of learning through the business and university partnership. 

The following is an example of how the partnership has worked:

I want to take this opportunity to formally express my sincere appreciation for your participation as an organizational client for my graduate level Advanced Systems Analysis course during the Winter term of 1999. I am well aware of the time spent preparing materials for the students and meeting with them, and do so appreciate your contributions to the training of our students. As a result, the consultancy was successful, as indicated in my assessment of their work and your final evaluation. I saw considerable skill development throughout the course on the part of the student and feel that they have learned much that will serve them well the rest of their careers. In addition, based on evaluation and the work they have produced during the course, it appears as though they were able to meaningfully assist your organization.

Sincerely yours,
Alyce M. Dickinson, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Psychology
Western Michigan University




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