Professional Skills Courses

Valparaiso University Offers Skills Courses to Give Students a Competitive Edge

Students may not realize the variety of essential skills that are needed to excel professionally. Employers are looking for candidates who will be able to solve problems, make sound decisions based on pertinent information, communicate ideas effectively, contribute to a diverse team of people, and offer leadership abilities.

This set of courses is designed to equip students with critical skills that employers desire in successful candidates for employment. These professional skills assist students in obtaining valuable internships and jobs, and the skills give job candidates a competitive advantage in the workplace. The classes are a valuable complement to the academic, technical, and liberal education provided by a Valpo degree.

Professional skills courses:

  • Are optional and not required.
  • Contribute to elective credits.
  •  Do not require pre-requisites.
  • Provide credit that can be applied toward a Professional Skills Certificate.
  • Offer career exploration.

Each student will create an e-portfolio, and junior and senior students will create professional e-portfolios.

Courses Offered

GS390 Information Research Strategies

Explore information-seeking skills to support life-long learning. This hybrid online/ in-person course provides tools and strategies for finding, evaluating, and using information in professional contexts.
1 Credit, 7 Weeks (Fall 2013-2nd 7-week term)

GS390 Career Development

Discover and identify individual strengths, interests, values, and beliefs to make well-informed and fulfilling career decisions throughout your life. This course will prepare students to conduct effective career exploration, facilitate self-awareness, and develop the skills needed to secure meaningful internships and jobs.
2 Credits, Full Semester

GS390 Advanced Career Development

Prepare for the job search process through the implementation of a strategic career plan that involves effective marketing in resume writing, cover letters, networking, and job interviews. This course focuses on the transition from student to professional.
Junior & Seniors Only, 2 Credits, Full Semester

GS390 Interpersonal Relations

Develop necessary life skills including self-assertion, self-expression, persuasion, collaboration, conflict resolution, empathy, and inspiration. Students will actively participate in simulated workplace scenarios.
1 Credit, 7 Weeks

GS390 LeadValpo Personal Leadership Development

Participate in civic engagement and leadership through experiential activities geared toward self-assessment and self-exploration. Students will develop critical thinking, problem solving, and decision-making skills that are essential for successful personal and professional development.
2 Credits, Full Semester

GS390 LeadValpo Literature, Ethics, and Authority

Cultivate critical leadership dimensions including: exercising formal authority, leading people and institutions, leading in opposition, and leading outside formal frameworks through a study of historical leaders through literature. The course explores factors that complicate but also enhance leadership, such as professionalism, the apparent relativity of values, the role of leadership in society, and the relation of leader to follower.
2 Credits, Full Semester

GS390 Presentation Design and Delivery

Incorporate visual design principles into technological best practices to create effective and attractive presentations. Students will learn the process of content development, audience analysis, and presentation creation and delivery in various formats.
1 Credit, 7 Weeks

GS390 Software Tool Kit

Explore software uses and operability of productivity software, online collaboration, and productivity tools using cloud technology. A hybrid class with lecture and online discussions, students will prepare for working in an environment that is diverse in software needs and uses.
1 Credit, 7 Weeks