Casey Academic Center

Competitive Advantage Initiative

Whether you’ve been in a career for several years or are trying to enter the work force in this challenging time, gaining skills that set you apart from the crowd has never been more important. 

The Competitive Advantage Initiative helps college graduates develop essential career skills and leadership potential, with the support of Washington College faculty and staff. The program is comprised of practical modules that have a “real world” orientation, to enhance the professional and practical skills you need for today’s job market.

For the Fall of 2020, we offer 17 different modules, varying in length from a weekend to 3-week and 6-weeks. With a few exceptions, noted below, all of these modules may be completed online.  

  • Modules are grouped into four “tracks” that have some common themes.
  • If you complete a certain number of modules within a track, you will be credentialed in those skills. You are welcome to follow more than one track.
  • You also can pick and choose among the various offerings, selecting across tracks – completing any 5 modules, taken from any track, gives you a general “professional skills” credential.
  • Or you can just take a couple of modules that appeal to you – we’ll give you a letter acknowledging completion of those, even if you don’t follow a 5-module track.
  • A few modules have prerequisites, and these are noted.
  • All modules have been designed to be engaging, but above all useful!

Credential Tracks

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The Washington College Competitive Advantage Initiative takes post-graduate education to a new level.
  • General “Professional Skills Credential”
    • If you prefer to pick and choose modules without regard to track, completion of any 5 modules qualifies you for a career skills credential in this initiative.
  • Career Development
    •  You must complete Module A-3 and at least one of the other two modules in this track
    •  Satisfactory completion of all assignments in modules
  • Becoming a Leader
    •  Complete Module B-1 and any three additional modules in this track
    •  Satisfactory completion of all assignments in modules
  • Environmental Technologies and Skills
    •  Complete any three modules in this track
    •  Satisfactory completion of all assignments in modules
  • GIS
    •  If you have not taken GIS for credit at Washington College, take Module D-1 and any other module
    •  If you have completed a GIS course for credit, take any two modules
    •  We strongly recommend that you consider Module D-4, which allows you to put skills to work and reinforces them
    •  You may also take a separate certification test administered by Esri (see track description) to obtain their industry recognized certification. To achieve the Esri certification, you should take all four GIS modules to obtain the relevant knowledge/skills for their test; we also can provide you with links to Esri prep courses
  • Most offerings are online modules, with a mix of online meetings and self-paced work.
  • The first module to open is the LinkedIn Audit, starting July 20. Other modules begin in mid-August according to the schedule below. All modules will be complete December 1
  • Costs:
  • Three-week modules are $250 per module, with a 20% discount on the total price for 5 or more modules. 2020 graduates are eligible for a discounted rate of $100 per module.
  • Six-week modules are $300, with a discount of 20% if you take any 5 modules or more. 2020 graduates are eligible for a discounted rate of $100 per module.
  • Several other modules have different timing and pricing – please read the program descriptions for more details.
  • Most offerings are online modules, with a mix of online meetings and self-paced work.
  • The first module to open is the LinkedIn Audit, starting July 20. Other modules begin in mid-August according to the schedule below. All modules will be complete December 1
  • Costs:
  • Three-week modules are $250 per module, with a 20% discount on the total price for 5 or more modules. 2020 graduates are eligible for a discounted rate of $100 per module.
  • Six-week modules are $300, with a discount of 20% if you take any 5 modules or more. 2020 graduates are eligible for a discounted rate of $100 per module.
  • Several other modules have different timing and pricing – please read the program descriptions for more details.

Each of the 3-week modules will require approximately 15-20 hours of your time, or 5-7 hours each week. The 6-week modules require correspondingly more time. All modules include several practical exercises, such as budgets, writing samples, or data analysis.

Our objective? To enhance your competitiveness in the job market and provide real-world skills that will enable you to progress more rapidly. We know what employers are looking for and what they value. Businesses today need flexible, adaptable employees who can wear many hats, and who require minimal training on the job. Our mission is to help you gain these attributes, including a mix of technical abilities and leadership skills.

Space is limited -- Register early to ensure your spot!

** REGISTER ONLINE **