LaTonya McElroy, MBA, SPHR
Texas SHRM Certification Director
Spotlights on Certification Prep Programs in TEXAS, April 2017
Texas SHRM Certification Director, LaTonya McElroy, MBA, SPHR, shares interviews with the Coordinators/Instructors of two featured Certification Prep Courses in Texas.
Our first featured program is TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY in partnership with the TRI-STATE SHRM Chapter. This course includes preparation for both SHRM-SCP & SHRM-CP and is held at the College of Business at Texas A & M University-Texarkana. The Course is offered in the fall, and spring as needed with 36 hours of instruction. The tuition of $950 includes 36 contact hours, activity book, reference book and 18 months’ access to the SHRM Online Resource Center.
Steve Collier, Director of Certification for Tri-State SHRM Chapter and Director of Human Resources for BWI Companies, Inc., Nash, Texas, and Instructor for the course shares some valuable insight about the program.
This unique partnership has involved collaboration between Texas A & M University-Texarkana and Tri-State SHRM Chapter since 2013. The current pass rate is 75%.
“One of the unique characteristics of our course has been the flexibility shown by the College of Business and by the instructor to choose days of the week which work best for our students. For example, in one of our courses in the spring of 2015, the University allowed us to schedule six-hour classes on Saturdays since five of our students came from a particular employer 75 miles away from Texarkana. We accomplished the 36-hour course in six weeks.”
A favorite student success story, “One of our students, a recent President of our Tri-State Chapter, gets the gold medal for her tenacity and longsuffering. She passed the exam on her third try. She is an incredible example of “never give up” to our Chapter members.”
Our second featured program is the TARRANT COUNTY COLLEGE NORTHWEST CAMPUS-OFFICE OF COMMUNITY & NDUSTRY EDUCATION. Offering a 14-week course with various options, either one night a week (Tuesday evening) or every other Saturday, with classes held in Fort Worth. In addition, SHRM Prep. Boot Camps are conducted to focus on individual competencies, the SHRM Essentials of HR Management course, as well as HR Professional Development sessions. The $950 course tuition includes activity and reference book, 18-month access to the SHRM Online Resource Center, 40 contact hours and 4 CEUs.
Rahsaan Dawson, Coordinator of Erma C. Johnson Hadley Center of Excellence for Aviation, Transportation & Logistics for the Tarrant County College District, Fort Worth, shared some of the unique collaborations that the program utilizes. Current Partners and details of their recent contributions include:
North Area Chamber of Commerce– Current Board member give me exposure to local business who can benefit from HR certification, information or resources.
Alliance Texas Human Resources Professional Group– Judy Franco, Hillwood- Bi-monthly meeting with HR professionals within the area and we offer HR professional Development in partnership with the meeting (SHRM Recertification Credit)
Alliance Opportunity Center- Workforce Center to aid those needing retooling after job loss. The Workforce Center will completely pay for short-term programs that lead to certification.
AARP- The partnership we have with AARP gives an opportunity for its members to gain information about our certificates and programs to upgrade their professional careers. We host an AARP Event here at least twice a year
Stark Lane Inc. Executive Search Consultants/National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS)– We are working with NAPS to offer their certification here in Fort Worth. Ryan Stark and NAPS are the premier certification providers for recruiters and staffing agency personnel. We are supplying an additional certification for those who seek the SHRM certification but need additional recruiting and staffing competencies
Imperative HR Group- Mike Coffey We partnered with Imperative to offer HR professional development within the Alliance area. We hosted the two-day professional development seminar. We are making an effort to create more professional development opportunities within the Alliance area.
Holmes Corporation- Mindy Flood. SHRM uses Holmes Corporation to provide the curriculum and materials needed for the certification courses. TCC has partnered with Holmes Corp. in order to provide the HR community the Certification Prep courses. Mindy is my Regional Manager.
HR Southwest Conference– We participated in the 2016 conference and donated an SHRM Preparation class, textbook, and 18-month access to the SHRM learning system for their silent auction to raise scholarship money for those pursuing HR degrees.
North Texas SHRM Chapter- We are currently the North Texas SHRM Chapter Certification Education provider. To give their members an opportunity to pursue SHRM certification
Mr. Dawson shared some of the program strengths, “This intensive program combines expert instruction with the SHRM Learning System® for SHRM- CP/SHRM-SCP, so you will learn faster, retain more knowledge, and stay on track for success on the exam. I know we have many students successfully pass the certification… Our current pass rate is 89%.”
“Who’s Getting the Credit?!” February 2017
After about 10 years in the HR field, I finally had an epiphany. How I came to this realization was by a remarkable, action-packed real-life baptism in the daily essential functions of Human Resources.
First of all, students and early career entrants of HR are often seeking certification, the golden ticket, the capstone education symbol in the field. Rightfully, the students’ mindset is career opportunity, promotion or total career change. At this point in the life cycle of achieving and holding certification, the symbols behind the name and the exam are that wonderful opportunity to become endorsed in the field and credited with having the knowledge to do effective work in the field. It is hope.
As the newly certified individual then enters the field and begins a career, this certification serves another purpose entirely. At this stage, certification becomes the confidence-booster, the reminder that ‘you can do this,’ the gateway to resources, and the respect of peers and supervisors. Facing many challenging scenarios at work, being responsible for truck-loads of paperwork, endless data processing and people issues, while trying to stay apprised of regulation changes, the newly certified professional understands something that is very critical and mind-reframing: Though she may not recall every single byte of information covered in the certification exam, she knows that information is out there. She has framework. She has knowledge of resources. She has the reservoir of information she finds at her fingertips in research. …and within a few years, she has persevered, and she has shown herself and others just what those special letters behind her name mean.
Finally, a decade later, the mid-career certified professional turns the corner to the staff hallway, glides down the commercial carpet — coffee in one hand, a folder in the other — and she stops by the CEO’s office to deliver the new policy draft, along with policy samples from the web, SHRM National and three of her local SHRM chapter colleagues. Returning to her desk, she glances at her wall, where her certification hangs proudly, and she is reminded of her duty to serve the profession with the highest standards. She knows that her work matters and that, though she is the only HR officer in her company, that certification on the wall says she is not alone–she has professionals all over the state of Texas (and the nation) standing with her.
This journey is laughable in this moment, as she finally gets it. Really, at the end of the day, the certifications mean something different for every person, and something different with each changing stage in career and environment. The certification is not simply a tool by which professionals earn credibility in the field, although that is one purpose. Our highest purpose and responsibility is to do our work in such a way that we lend credibility to the certification and field. We are a network, a team of elite professionals in HR, and we are here to serve well our people and our companies.
The two pressing questions are this:
1) As a certified individual, how are you using your HR competencies in your daily functions to represent and bring credibility to the letters that follow your name?
2) As a non-certified individual, where are you in your career, and what can certification do for you?
Texas SHRM is proud to introduce LaTonya Darneish McElroy is a native of Texarkana, TX. She is a graduate of Liberty Eylau High School, Texarkana College and Texas A&M – Texarkana. She obtained her BAAS in Administrative Leadership and Master of Business Administration. She has completed over 10 years in the field of Human Resources and has attained her Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification.
LaTonya is Director of Human Resources at Mayo Manufacturing. She is a member and past president of the local Tri-State Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) Chapter, the Director of Certification for Texas State SHRM, a member of SHRM’s national organization, a four-year Junior Achievement volunteer, a member of the United Way of Greater Texarkana Board, a member of the A&M-Texarkana Alumni Association Board, Youth Director, teacher and choir member for Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church. LaTonya is married to Min. Arthur F. McElroy, who is a 27-year employee of UPS, is a mother of five, and is absolutely enchanted with her only grandchild, Kaden.
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