AACRAO Report - In Their Own Words: Perceptions of Training Needs Among and Between Professional Employee Levels

May 3, 2021
  • Research
  • AACRAO Research Insights
  • Professional Development
In their own words

This report was created in collaboration with and sponsored by InsideTrack

AACRAO releases a new report on Professional Development and Training (PD&T) needs as identified through AACRAO member surveys.  This research, conducted in February of 2021, examines the similarities and differences in perceived PD&T needs between front-line staff, managerial staff, and senior leadership. Additionally, researchers compared AACRAO member PD&T needs in relation to AACRAO's competencies and proficiencies. 

In the course of this research, and included in the report, six members of senior leadership were interviewed regarding their perspectives on various aspects of PD&T implementation, challenges, results, and future changes. 

Survey questions used included:

  1. What professional development and job-specific training do front-line staff, managerial staff, and senior leadership in higher education need, or want, to enable them to do their current job more effectively or to advance their career?
  2. What do managerial staff believe front-line staff need or want in terms of professional development and job-specific training? How well does this align with data received from front-line staff?
  3. What does senior leadership believe the front-line staff and managerial staff need, or want, in terms of professional development and job-specific training? How well does this align with data received from front-line staff and managerial staff?
  4. Which proficiency area(s) is/are a part of your current responsibilities?
  5. In addition to current responsibilities, what other proficiencies have you received PD&T for?

Key takeaways from this report include:

  • Unsurprisingly, most preferred virtual trainings and workshops for all training deliveries. On the other hand, senior leadership preferred PD&T associated with conferences compared to managerial or front-line staff.
  • Early career staff prefer tangible recognition of their PD&T accomplishments to help develop their career advancement.
  • Change management, problem-solving, and student success all ranked highly across rankings in competencies surveyed individuals considered important.

Closing the report AACRAO researchers commented on the need to find new ways to engage front-line staff, managerial staff, and senior leadership with PD&T.

Download the full report here to learn more.