npc_ringing_up_successNPC’s Management & Leadership program helps you advance your career

By Everett Robinson

Like many nontraditional NPC students, Lori Moore put her own education on hold to raise a family and work to supplement her family’s income.

But with both of her children finishing up their college education, Moore decided she too wanted to earn her bachelor’s degree. Lori has already earned an Associate of Arts degree from Mesa Community College, and will complete her second associates in May in the NPC Business Department’s revised Management and Leadership specialization.

Moore, who has worked at Bashas’ for 14 years, wears several hats with the family-owned grocery retailer — cashier, backup bookkeeper and regional ‘new hire’ trainer at stores throughout northeastern Arizona and western New Mexico. Her studies in management and leader-ship are already providing professional development in her current job and opening doors for future advancement.

“NPC’s revised Management and Leadership program offers several options, including a one-year, online management-training opportunity for working adults seeking career advancement but who currently lack the leadership skills required to move forward in their respective industries,” notes Jennifer Bishop, NPC Busi-ness faculty and mentor for students in the program. “Our program is unique in that it offers short classes that start every eight weeks, taught by highly skilled instructors, and is 100 percent online,” Bishop continues. “With the lowest tuition in the state, NPC provides individuals the opportunity to transform their lives through education in less than a year.”

Moore describes the program as “intense,” but the online format gives her the flexibility to work her studies around her work shifts and home life. “NPC online instructors reached out to me and were available whenever I needed help,” says Moore. “This program has been a grow-ing experience for me, especially with technology skills.” Using computers and corresponding via email is a key component of online instruction.

Professor Bishop worked with her department’s advisory board and local employers, including Bashas’ and Safeway, to make sure students were taught the management skills necessary to set department goals that are in line with organizational goals, analyze key financial data and develop accurate budgets that benefit the organization as a whole. “Students also learn how to train, direct and manage a dynamic and diverse work staff, while maintaining a strong focus on customer service and business ethics,” notes Bishop. The area of management is expected to grow 12 percent nationally over the next decade, generating a demand for well-trained workers. NPC’s new pro-gram is helping workers meet that need.

The eight courses that make up NPC’s Certificate of Proficiency (CP) match the national credential of the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC). “When an NPC student completes the CP, they can apply and receive the WAFC certification, which is required for advancement at many grocery retailers,” explains Bishop.

“Earning the WAFC certification can open financial aid avenues that can help you complete an associate or bachelor’s degree in Management and Leadership,” adds Moore. For instance, the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance offers scholar-ships for management students.

“Locally, Bashas’ and Safeway will pay 100 percent of the cost for this certificate training for their employees. Walmart will reimburse management trainees upon completion,” Bishop says.* “NPC is already partnering with Hon-Dah, enrolling three students in the program every six months. They even set up computers and purchased textbooks for their students to share.”

NPC’s program also includes a job shadowing component. “I was interested in the scope of human resources and wanted a chance to see what that involved,” says Moore. Bishop helped set up a shadowing opportunity for Moore to spend a day at Bashas’ corporate headquarters with its HR program director. “I interact regularly at the store level, but this was my first chance to be exposed to management on the corporate level,” continues Moore. Networking with corporate-level managers also increases the potential for future advancement.

Students use organizational, project-based assessment in their courses. “They can make an immediate positive impact for a better organization. They are able to analyze situations and come back with improvements that not only strengthen the company but also the community and the economy,” comments Bishop.

As a faculty mentor for business studies students, Bishop always encourages taking the additional onsite courses needed for the AAS degree. Moore is doing just that and plans to continue her education, possibly in ASU’s leadership bachelor’s degree program, in the fall. “College education results in better trained managers, who understand how to listen and lead others,” concludes Moore.

For more information about NPC’s Management and Leadership program, contact Jennifer Bishop at (928) 536-6253.

*Consult with your employer first before enrolling.