Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009 | 11:37 p.m.
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Beyond the Sun
Nevada State College is launching a 20-week business certificate program targeting people who want a more formal business background.
Set to launch in April, the program arose from a survey of Henderson businesses conducted more than a year ago, which revealed that businesses would welcome a program stressing basic fundamentals.
"It's designed for people looking to move up in their organization, but need a better understanding of business and business skill sets or people looking to start their own business," said Spencer Stewart, associate vice president of college relations.
The certificate, done in conjunction with the Henderson Chamber of Commerce, will consist of four courses — Business Writing and Communications; Selling Fundamentals; Customer Service Management; and Fundamentals of Accounting. Each class will be an intensive, four-week course geared toward the working adult, with sessions held on the weekend. Instruction will be given by a combination of a business professional and full-time faculty.
Henderson Chamber of Commerce President David Dahan said the business community had seen a dearth of fundamental business knowledge among the workforce.
"It will teach them the basics of business letter writing, effective speaking, how to communicate a complex idea, how to strengthen analytical abilities and how to maintain and develop financial statements through accounting principals," Dahan said.
Students will not obtain college credit for the program, which costs $1,200. However, employees of Chamber members will receive discounts.
Stewart said the business community is now circulating the program internally to identify potential candidates. He hopes to have 20 students by April.
He also expects the program to be self-sustaining, funded by tuition and fees.
The economic environment for starting the program remains starkly different from when the idea was first hatched. Preliminary discussions began when a rash of big projects were slated to come online, Dahan said.
"I felt this was a way to provide some additional value to the business community — bringing some education to the labor force," he said.
Both he and Stewart still see the program as beneficial, even in hard times.
"I think investing in one's education is an absolute constant irrespective of what type of economic climate we find ourselves in," Stewart said. "I think the business community will appreciate that Nevada State College is offering this opportunity, putting their employees in a position to be much more productive, especially when the economy begins to pick back up."
Dahan envisions the program eventually developing a cachet among businesses seeking more professional employees.
"It will allow them to see these individuals made an extra effort to obtain an education that prepares them for the business environment," he said. "We ultimately want to create a brand for this certificate so it would resonate with employers."
Dave Clark can be reached at 990-2677 or email@example.com.