BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A certificate program unique to the University
at Buffalo's Millard Fillmore College (MFC) that prepares
individuals for a supporting role in human resources is going
global. The Human Resource Assistant Certificate Program debuts
this month as an online course accessible 24/7.
Through 11 instruction modules, the HR function is covered from
"A to Z" over 10 weeks. Course curriculum and instructional
material is based on MFC's classroom version, developed by
certified Human Resource Management Professional Harry Cardin,
Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Both online and
traditional programs are offered through a partnership between UB
and the Buffalo Niagara Human Resource Association (BNHRA).
"There really is no program available for people who want to
come into the human resource discipline, or addresses the need for
those who are changing jobs or careers," Cardin says. "We are
beginning to realize the growing demand for this program, as calls
and requests for an online class are coming in from across the
country, including Houston, Chicago and San Diego."
Registration is open until class begins on April 23. Course and
registration information is available at http://www.mfc.buffalo.edu.
"The course provides a solid foundation for someone starting in
the role of human resource assistant or human resource
coordinator," says Sue Czyrny, SPHR, implementation consultant at
ADP Major Accounts and a member of BNHRA. "It is also great for the
non-HR person who may have to assume some of those tasks due to
The program's target audience extends to business owners --
especially entrepreneurial startups -- who understand that one
misstep may easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in
litigation. There's a substantial learning curve to navigate, as
regulations surrounding issues such as compensation, benefits and
labor laws grow and become more complex.
Participants will receive a comprehensive overview of HR
management and learn about a multitude of topics, including
recruitment and selection, employee relations, performance
management and benefits administration. The course can serve as a
refresher for practitioners working in the industry, or for those
in specialized niches who want to switch to a different area of
"HR has changed in the last 30 to 35 years, from keeping the
keys of the company and running the picnics to leading the
organization to act a certain way," Cardin says. "There are so many
laws you have to deal with."
As BNHRA workforce readiness director, Pam Nicastro works to
cultivate a workforce able to support employer needs. She agrees
that as "keepers of the culture," strategy has emerged as a strong
facet of any HR role. She notes that the job has become
increasingly analytical to support company growth, in addition to
managing record-keeping and legal issues, and ensuring there is a
talent pool from which to draw.
Nicastro, SPHR and human resources director of Kenmore Mercy
Hospital, believes that a firm grasp of MFC's course components can
"help a business's core foundation be sound, from an operations
An estimated 150 people have completed the classroom version of
the certificate program. Many use it as a springboard for applying
for assistant-level positions. Others who have taken it include a
business owner who realized he could have saved $50,000, had he
taken the course earlier.
"The course will pay for itself if it prevents you from having
one audit by the state or federal government," Nicastro says.
The online text-based course incorporates assignments, audio
presentations, and pre- and post-tests for each module. Students
interact with instructor Cardin through email and other electronic
forms of communication.
The course fee of $550 covers registration and notebooks
containing program content. An additional textbook may be
A UB Certificate of Completion and 4 Continuing Education Units
are awarded to students who satisfactorily complete all
MFC expects to offer the online Human Resource Assistant
Certificate Program several times per year. For more information,
contact MFC Associate Dean Larry Gingrich at 716-829-3131.