More and more, office support professionals are called on to work
flexibly and share their expertise as essential team members.
For the university to achieve its strategic objectives in the 21st Century, it must rely on its dedicated staff members who contribute at all levels of the institution.
The Office Support Professional (OSP) employment category includes many job titles. In these roles, OSPs handle a plethora of functions in both supervisory and non-supervisory capacities.
Office Support Professionals of today are expected now, more than ever, to do even more as primary stewards of an office’s administrative activities. They manage information and communication, schedule and plan meetings and appointments, organize and maintain systems, manage people and projects, are themselves centers of institutional knowledge, and often serve as key stabilizing forces within their units.
To meet challenges on the horizon, OSPs might consider several professional development programs.
Programs for Office Support Professionals who are Supervisors
Human Resources Series for Supervisors and Managers — Facilitated by campus HR professionals, these 14 half-day seminars review the university’s HR policies and guiding principles.
The Complete Supervisor — Whether your title is manager, supervisor, or assistant-associate director, supervising people is for long distance runners and not for the faint of heart. Your job requires a myriad of knowledge and skills, including how to be a problem solver, mentor, teacher, decision maker, leader, empathetic listener, project manager, and coach to name a few.
Most of us weren't born excellent supervisors and managers, but we can learn the knowledge and skills to bring us to that level. That is what The Complete Supervisor program is all about.
University of Illinois Administrative Professionals Academy (APA)
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Illinois Human Resources, the APA is designed specifically for post-probationary employees in the Office Support and Clerk promotional job classifications. The APA’s goal is to provide campus support staff with continuous professional development opportunities. The knowledge and skills acquired through the program will enhance their abilities to support faculty, staff, and students.
Office Support Professionals Celebration Breakfast
Since 1995, the Center for Training and Professional Development has been bringing motivational speakers for the biennial Office Support Professionals Celebration Breakfast. Attendees enjoy a delicious breakfast and come away with personal and professional recognition and motivation.
Career Development Resources
I-Plan - The I-Plan was developed by the Center for Training and Professional Development as a tool to assist employees in planning their careers. It contains information about career development and provides self-assessment and career planning resources. This guide has been customized for Office Support Professionals at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Other Training Sources
University of Illinois Decision Support
Office of Business and Financial Services (OBFS) Training
The Secretariat — This is an organization composed of employees in civil service classifications with qualifications that meet or exceed those of Office Support Associate. Through its mentoring program, The Secretariat offers networking and training opportunities on relevant campus-specific topics. Contact Deb Flessner,
2013 – 2014 President, at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP)
International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) - Champaign/Urbana Chapter