Judy Coates is the manager of Learning and Organizational Development at the Teaching and Learning Center at College of DuPage. She is able to use her education in liberal arts and teaching to design and develop influential training programs, workshops and events. This shows how a background in teaching doesn’t necessarily put limitations on what type of career you can have.


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(Photo courtesy of Judy Coates)

(Photo courtesy of Judy Coates)

How has your education helped you to achieve success in your career?
“Although my master’s degree focused on Elementary Education, some of the same learning principles, assessment strategies and curriculum development guidelines apply to the adult training programs I now develop. This degree provided me with the tools I needed for my current position. For example, it prepared me to work with a wide variety of audiences – from corporate sponsors to 5th grade students to college professors – and develop relative, applicable training materials for individuals at all levels.”

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How has your education helped you in your current role in education?
“My team and I are very excited about what we are doing in Learning and Organizational Development and in the Teaching and Learning Center. Prior to my hiring, there was a bit of a lull in training that was being provided for employees at College of DuPage. Some of our key milestones for staff have been rolling out new employee orientation, a service excellence program and the COD Leadership Academy. For faculty, we have focused on professional development through quarterly in-service events, a great teachers seminar and faculty-led discussions.”

What advice can you give others looking to go into this or a similar profession in terms of obtaining education?
“Whether it’s the areas of corporate training and development or academic organizational development, many of the elements are still the same. The training and skills I received through my education serves as a toolbox. It’s important for someone in my field to make sure their ‘toolbox’ of ideas remains diverse and full in order to keep a fresh, innovative approach to training that truly benefits participants.”

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Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.