Professional Development and Education
For nearly a century now, Robert Morris University has been preparing professionals to meet the challenges and changing needs of our region and beyond. In addition to our top-ranked degrees, RMU also offers executive education and talent development programs for corporate partners and other employers throughout the Pittsburgh region.
Built around RMU’s nationally recognized excellence in business, IT, engineering, communications, and health care, our tailor-made organizational leadership and executive education programs are led by a multidisciplinary team of experts focused on keeping your employees engaged and helping your organization meet its strategic goals.
Custom Executive Education Programs
RMU has been engaged to help transform organizations, develop skilled leaders, and launch strategic business initiatives. Our capabilities range from executive working sessions to more traditional business education, all of which are custom-tailored to meet your organization’s specific needs.
Individual Leadership Development Programs
Designed for your high-potential employees, RMU’s unique Leadership Cohort program develops principled, innovative leaders and generates ideas that advance management practices.
Learn more about how some of our partners have achieved significant breakthroughs and return on their investment in RMU’s executive education programs.
RMU Partners with Koppers on Leadership Development
Robert Morris University is partnering with Koppers Inc. to provide leadership development to the Pittsburgh-based corporation’s next cohort of current and future leaders.
RMU faculty will teach the Koppers Leadership Forum, which also will feature participation by members of the Koppers senior leadership team, including President and CEO Leroy Ball. The program consists of four two and one-half day training modules, scheduled to commence in October, alternating between Koppers downtown headquarters and RMU’s campus in Moon Township.
“Koppers is looking forward to our partnership with Robert Morris University to provide further learning and development opportunities for leaders at our company,” said Ball, a member of the RMU Board of Trustees. “We wanted to take our internally developed program to the next level, and Robert Morris stood out as a top choice to help us do that by tailoring a program around our specific needs.
“It’s my hope that this initial agreement leads to a longer-term relationship with RMU designed around helping us build out our pipeline of talent to carry us successfully into the future,” said Ball, who earned his MBA from Robert Morris.
Each session is customized for Koppers, a global leader in wood preservation and wood protection products. Every participant will be awarded a digital badge upon the completion of each module through the internationally recognized Open Badges system.
Koppers also recently inked a sponsorship agreement with RMU for the new UPMC Events Center, a 140,000-square foot arena and conference center that will be home to RMU’s basketball and volleyball teams. Koppers joins UPMC, Peoples, Eat ‘n’ Park, PNC, P.J. Dick, Pepsi, and PGT Trucking as founding corporate partners in the UPMC Events Center.
The university’s partnership with Koppers is part of an RMU initiative to help organizations prepare their employees for leadership roles and to address the skills gap in the Pittsburgh-area workforce. RMU offers an organizational leadership skills certificate program to employees at the Port Authority of Allegheny County, and the university recently announced that it has become Pennsylvania’s first Amazon Web Services’ AWS Academy member.
Overseeing this initiative is Derya Jacobs, RMU vice president for corporate relations and senior vice provost. “Our approach with corporations such as Koppers is very consultative, so that we can develop a program suited to their industry and that meets their unique needs,” said Jacobs.
“RMU is a responsive and agile university, and the fact that we can work simultaneously with a large public transit agency and a global manufacturer demonstrates that,” she said.
Guiding RMU’s workforce development initiatives, in part, is the Allegheny Conference on Community Development’s seminal study, Inflection Point: Supply, Demand and the Future of Work in the Pittsburgh Region. The 2016 report described a looming a workforce shortage across several industries and outlined steps that educators, employers, government, and civic organizations can take to close the gap. RMU President Chris Howard is a member of the Allegheny Conference Board of Directors.
“RMU aims to be the preferred strategic partner for corporations and other organizations in the Pittsburgh region, and that includes being a leading provider of corporate leadership development,” said Howard. “We also want to ensure that our professional workforce has the skills necessary for continued economic growth in western Pennsylvania.”
Port Authority-RMU Leadership Drive
Port Authority of Allegheny County partnered with Robert Morris University last spring to offer employees the opportunity to improve their management, supervisory, and leadership skills.
About 250 non-represented employees were eligible to apply for enrollment in the Employee and Leadership Development Program at RMU. Port Authority is covering the entire cost of the program, which is part of the Department of Organizational Leadership in the RMU School of Communications and Information Systems.
"This is not just an investment in our workforce, but an investment in the future of Port Authority," said Port Authority CEO Ellen McLean. "If our employees are trained to be better managers, our entire workforce will be more efficient."
Employees enrolled in four courses over a 10-month period, covering a range of topics, including employee relations, conflict resolution, negotiating skills, and ethics. Employees who complete the program will receive a certificate in organizational leadership skills. The credits they earn can be used toward a bachelor’s degree at RMU.
Employees interested in participating were asked to apply through Port Authority's Human Resources Division for selection by a committee of managers. Eight to 10 non-represented employees will be selected for the first class. Port Authority hopes to include union-represented first-level supervisors in future classes.
“Our collaboration with Port Authority is an example of how RMU will be the preferred strategic partner for corporations, organizations, professionals and aspiring professionals in the Pittsburgh region,” said RMU president Chris Howard. “It’s a model for how other employers can develop their workforce.”
RMU is Official Higher Education Partner of the Penguins
Robert Morris University and the Pittsburgh Penguins have announced a new multiyear agreement that establishes RMU as Official Higher Education Partner of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Under the agreement, RMU will provide leadership development programs for the Penguins staff. The university has offered similar programs with corporate partners including Koppers and the Port Authority of Allegheny County, led by Derya Jacobs, RMU vice president of corporate relations and senior vice provost.
Some of the programming will take place at the new RMU Conference Center at PPG Paints Arena. The meeting space on the PNC Legends level can be configured into up to four conference rooms. It will be used by the university for additional corporate leadership programs and alumni events Downtown.
The Penguins have agreed to offer RMU students educational and professional opportunities, including dedicated internship positions, over the course of the agreement.
"Robert Morris University and the Pittsburgh Penguins are natural partners, given our shared love for this city, our commitment to excellence and our passion for hockey," said RMU President Chris Howard.
"We've always had a great relationship with Robert Morris University and the Colonials, and now we are thrilled to take this winning combination to the next level," said Penguins CEO and President David Morehouse.
Robert Morris University's men's ice hockey team is a regular participant in the annual Three Rivers Classic college hockey invitational tournament, which the Penguins host each December at PPG Paints Arena. The arena also is home this year to the Colonials men's basketball team while the UPMC Events Center is under construction on RMU's Moon Township campus. Additionally, the Penguins and RMU teamed up to host the NCAA Frozen Four in 2013 and will do so again in 2021.
Colonials at the Casino
A pair of business students had a productive internship at the Rivers Casino in downtown Pittsburgh last summer. Seniors Eric Albright and Scot Augustine focused on exploring employee training models and opportunities in the casino's table games department.
The students had the opportunity to witness theory in action, in addition to learning how to address the needs of multiple stakeholders, according to business professors Daria Crawley and Prasad Vemala, who oversaw their internship. Albright and Augustine used research methods to identify potential human resource and training program opportunities.
Albright, an accounting major, and Augustine, a marketing major, presented their findings to top executives at the casino at the conclusion of their internship. Their presentation was well received.
“It’s great when a university and business come together to create real-world learning experiences for students,” said Craig Clark, general manager of Rivers Casino. “Eric and Scot’s presentation was excellent, professional and clearly demonstrated the successful application of classroom knowledge to business situations.”
"The internship was a great learning experience as we had a variety of different objectives throughout the summer," said Albright. He said he especially appreciated meeting and networking with employees there, including Clark and others in the leadership team.