Certificate Programs

Our certificate programs are open to all UT Dallas employees. Each program is usually taught in a series of sessions spaced several weeks apart. Sessions may include group discussions, exercises, testing, and assessment; Some outside reading, pre-work or homework may be required.

If you must miss a session, you will be placed on a list to be reminded when that session is offered again. After you make up the lost session, you will receive your certificate for that training program.

Please discuss any certificate program with your supervisor before registering

To register, log in to Galaxy, go to Staff Tools > LEO > Find Available Training, and search for a program by name.


Service Excellence Certification

This certificate program is taught in a series of four sessions, each approximately 2 to 2 ½ hours long, spaced approximately two weeks apart.

  • Session 1

    Catching Comet Pride

    • Understand the rationale and reasoning behind providing excellent customer service in higher education.
    • Get introduced to the five Guiding Principles created to shape and direct the services we provide to both internal and external customers of UT Dallas.
    • Learn our customer service model, which serves as our framework for this series and all the sessions that follow.
  • Session 2

    Practice Makes Perfect I

    • Get re-introduced to our customer service model.
    • Get exposed to customer service best practices.
    • Learn the common barriers to providing good service.
    • Practice and discuss simulated customer service transactions and situations, with special focus on welcoming behaviors.
  • Session 3

    Practice Makes Perfect II

    • Continue studying how to deliver good service to both happy and angry customers.
    • Building on the skills emphasized in session 2, learn to deliver good customer service under stress (i.e. with frustrated, upset, or angry customers).
    • Practice customer service etiquette skills —in person, by email, and over the phone.
    • Learn important transitioning behaviors, for times when you must refer a customer to someone else, or are unable to deliver what the customer expects or wants from us.
  • Session 4

    Making It Work, Making It Personal

    • Identify and create strategies for ensuring ongoing, excellent customer service at UT Dallas —start to finish.
    • Learn a model for evaluating our customer service efforts in each department and work unit.
    • Develop a personal action plan for immediate implementation to provide excellent customer service in you work area.
    • Receive your certification, if you attended all four sessions.

Catch Comet Pride is offered on a continuing basis.


Comet Pride Pilot Class

There is no doubt that the University of Texas at Dallas offers excellence when it comes to a great education. But times have changed. Students and their families expect more than just a great education. In a 2009 State of the University message, Dr. Daniel addressed this specifically: “…if you see students expecting to be treated more and more like customers paying a stiff price tag for the privilege of earning an education, they’re right … we need to think of our students in a bit of a different way than we might have before, and we really need to think about providing a service culture to our students”.

Responding to Dr. Daniel’s call, Dr. Calvin D. Jamison, VP for the Office of Administration, working with a subcommittee of the Cabinet consisting of Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, Executive VP and Provost; Dr. Darrelene Rachavong, VP for Student Affairs; Dr. Jim Gary, VP for Information Resources; and Ms. Susan Rogers, VP for Communications; charged a campus-wide committee to change our culture by creating a standard for providing excellent customer service. As a result of this committee’s work the Human Resources training team was charged with developing a new training program, Catch Comet Pride. The program was developed by staff from Human Resources and successfully piloted in July of 2009.

A special “thank you” goes out to everyone who participated (pictured, right) in that pilot session.

This certificate program is a great opportunity for managers and supervisors —and those aspiring to manage or supervise— to hone existing skills and to develop new ones in a documented, structured learning environment.

The program is taught in a series of six sessions, each approximately two hours long, spaced about three-six weeks apart.

  • Session 1

    Communication and Listening Skills

    • Examine your own communication style and discuss ways to deal with those who have different communication styles.
    • Explore and discuss the issues that impact communication between employees and their managers or supervisors.
  • Session 2

    EEO [Equal Employment Opportunity] Laws

    Understand Equal Employment Opportunity laws and their implication for managers, supervisors, and the University in the areas of hiring, discipline, and termination.

  • Session 3

    Performance Management

    Discuss all aspects of an effective performance management system and the different methods and tools for managing the performance of those you supervise.

  • Session 4

    Conflict Resolution

    Learn about the nature of conflict, common approaches to conflict, and the importance of taking appropriate action in response to workplace conflict.

  • Session 5

    Dynamic Discipline

    Learn the University’s discipline process and how to use it legally, appropriately, and effectively.

  • Session 6

    Motivating and Recognizing Employees

    • Explore key concepts behind employee motivation.
    • Learn the importance of using recognition and praise as way to honor your employees and promote workplace satisfaction and productivity.
Manager and Supervisor

Manager and Supervisor Certification is usually offered twice a year.

Thanks to the class of supervisors and managers from Facilities Management (pictured, right) who helped us pilot test the program, and congratulations for being the first campus group to complete this certificate program.

The participant will earn a standard certificate for completing the seven basic core classes. In order to recognize exemplary employees, we have designated four additional certification levels beyond the standard certificate:

  • Ruby Level

    The participant completes six additional elective classes

  • Sapphire Level

    The participant completes nine additional elective classes

  • Emerald Level

    The participant completes twelve additional elective classes

  • Diamond Level

    The participant completes seventeen additional elective classes

The Seven Core Classes

The seven core classes, as well as the majority of our elective classes, emerged after 18 months of interviews and discussions with multiple departments and Administrative Assistants across the campus. In addition to these discussions, Human Resources also consulted with other Universities about their training practices for administrative staff.

  • Session 1

    Creating a Positive Culture of Success at UTD

    Session 1 is designed to give the participants a better understanding of the UTD’s mission, vision, values, and culture through examining the University’s organizational structure. In this session, we will also discuss best practices for personal growth and success.

  • Session 2

    Admin Essentials I: Getting Things Done

    Sessions 2 and 3 will be conducted in a computer lab using an interactive and “hands-on” format where the participants will be guided by the instructor(s) to explore the University’s web pages to find critical information, forms, documentation, policies, etc… Content will be based and presented according to the organizational structure of the University with the intent of providing participants with a comprehensive overview of the reporting lines, culture, and values of the University that were introduced in Session 1.

  • Session 3

    Admin Essentials II: Getting Things Done

    This will be a continuation of Session 2.

  • Session 4

    Business Writing and Etiquette

    Elizabeth Bruce, coordinator of the Business Communication Center from the Jindal School of Management, will be teaching this class. She will discuss and demonstrate best practices as they relate to email, letters, phone calls, and face-to-face communication as well as addressing how to effectively interact in a culturally diverse workplace.

  • Session 5

    Proactively Managing Your Work World

    Session 6 will concentrate on practical ways to organize the office (and the boss!) Time will be dedicated to learning best practices as they relate to efficiently managing files, multiple calendars, projects, and time.

  • Session 6

    Payroll and Time and Labor

    This session will focus on the basic concepts behind our PeopleSoft System and how the system works in regard to ePars, Personal Information, Job Data, Time and Labor (and Absence Management), and how the Payroll Process flow works.

  • Session 7

    Event Planning

    This class will be led by Rena Piper, Events Planner from the Office of Advancement. This class will focus on all things necessary to plan events on the UTD campus including room reservations, facilities requests, catering, and risk management.


As one network of employees, united through diversity and the mission of the University, we encourage individuals to take responsibility for behavior and speech that will contribute to a workplace where dignity and respect thrive.

This series will focus on how well we work together. Are we the kind of co-worker that creates a healthy, respectful environment or are we the kind of employee that others avoid? Do we communicate respect and do we hold others in the highest regard?

The four sessions help the participants explore their own emotional intelligence and how they engage their co-workers to create a respectful and inclusive workplace.

  • Module 1

    It Might Be About Me?

    Personal strategies for assisting in the ongoing development of a culture of dignity and respect.

  • Module 2

    ONE UTD!

    Developing strategies for understanding, engaging, and respecting the differences we all bring to the workplace.

  • Module 3

    Meet Me In the Court Yard!

    Skills to build professional and respectful relationships based on the common ground we all “occupy”.

  • Module 4

    ONE UTD!

    Exploring strategies for continuing to support inclusiveness that builds dignity and respect.