Alyson Ebaugh is a self-described lifelong learner. Throughout her previous roles as assistant director of human resources at Appalachian State University and global training director for Samaritan’s Purse, Ebaugh established goals that stayed the same: help adult professionals become lifelong learners, too, and to ensure they learn well.
As UNC Charlotte’s director of learning and organizational development, Ebaugh focuses on providing meaningful learning professional development opportunities for faculty and staff. It sounds straightforward, but it’s sometimes easier said than done. Effective learning and organizational development includes a wide variety and efficient utilization of trainings and tools.
“Learning and organizational development for the University could be job training, or it could be how to use a certain online system, understanding health benefits or leadership development training, even career planning,” said Ebaugh. “We offer a huge variety of courses.”
For Ebaugh, it’s about the quality of learning opportunities and how professional adult learning is approached. She described her view on learning and organizational development as balancing the employee’s goals and the organization's goals to have a University body that works as a cohesive unit made of separate, but interrelated, parts.
“The foundational way that I view my work is integrated and holistic. All work is a process, even when it doesn’t appear to be interrelated,” said Ebaugh, who joined the University five years ago. “While UNC Charlotte has the important mission to educate people, there’s also the business side. We’re managing a campus, and we have to think and act smart about all these parts so they best support the education initiative and make it possible.”
One of the ways Ebaugh and her team will be doing this is by migrating online learning courses from Canvas to a new learning management system called Cornerstone, piloted by the UNC System. Ebaugh explained that UNC Charlotte’s current system is a pull system, meaning that the system can’t automatically assign content to faculty and staff. Cornerstone will enable faculty and staff to be automatically enrolled to required content based on their roles in the University. Additionally, employees will be able to enroll in workshops or courses that meet their interests. Cornerstone is set to launch this year.
UNC Charlotte continues to grow in learning and organizational development, and Ebaugh believes the campus offers more career growth, more opportunity and more support for everyone.
“We go where the need is, and many people are so receptive,” she said. “The thing that I really enjoy the most about this job is when I can help somebody do a job better, faster, smarter, more efficiently and higher quality. That’s a win for the individual and for the University.”