News & Announcements

CSU Professional Development Center Provides Competency-Based Continuing Education

The Professional Development Center within the Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University has redesigned its curriculum and course offerings around competency-based education.

Competency-based education requires students to learn through application with a hands-on curriculum and to complete course assessments, in order to deliver short-term courses and programs that provide increased learner retention that connects theory to practice.

 “We apply the same Engaged Learning principles that Cleveland State University is known for to all of our continuing education courses,” said Toni Paoletta, manager of the Professional Development Center. “Competency-based education insures that students – and their employers – get the most from their educational investment. When students successfully complete our courses, they can immediately demonstrate the skills they learned and apply them in the workplace.”

The Professional Development Center offers courses in:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business Management
  • Human Resources and Organizational Development
  • Information Technology
  • Leadership
  • Sales and Marketing

Courses are delivered in a classroom setting or online, depending upon the course.

 “In addition, we provide employers, clients and colleagues with the ability to verify a student’s mastery of learning within a particular course by offering digital credentials,” Paoletta said.

Students can register for courses online at or by phone at 216.687.6957. The price of each course includes materials, course assessments, coffee, snacks, meals (for all-day courses) and on-site parking. The instructors are Ph.D.s, MBAs, CPAs, CFAs, SHRM-certified or offer real-world business experience and acumen. Many of the instructors hold leadership positions in Northeast Ohio organizations or have taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

The Center also provides custom learning solutions for organizations wishing to invest in upgrading the skills of their workforce.

“Learning is for a lifetime,” Paoletta said. “In today’s competitive job market, employers expect that applicants demonstrate proficiency in certain skills or have industry-specific credentials. The Professional Development Center provides assurance of learning through its competency-based programs, filling a need for Northeast Ohio organizations seeking qualified candidates.”