Frequently Asked Questions

For what kind of employment or position would having this degree qualify me?
Many people in this field have some sort of specialty in which they've already been working, i.e. health care operations, social work, sales, counseling, etc. They sometimes use this degree to advance in their own specialty, which may be indirectly related to the actual practice of HRD. This program educates people in the areas of training, organization development, and career development. People move into positions in personnel and human resources, organization development, management consulting--as training specialists, coordinators of continuing education or professional development, training manager or director, trainer/facilitator/instructor, management development or career development specialist, staff development specialist, HRD researcher, organization change agent, or administrator of HRD. It should be noted, however, that there are few entry-level positions in HRD; many people use this degree to move into a position where they train other employees in their own area of expertise.

What is the difference between Human Resource Development and Human Resources?
Human Resource Development is part of the general field of Human Resources; the general field of Human Resources encompasses areas such as labor relations, employee assistance, compensation, benefits, and staffing. The Executive HRD program at Xavier does not cover these areas; it covers the specific areas of training and development, career development, and organization development. Although the MBA program at Xavier does not have a concentration in HR, you may wish to contact them about their generalist business program, http://www.xavier.edu/williams/mba .

How large is the class size and what does a "cohort" program mean?
The group typically varies between 30 - 35 students each. The ages have ranged from 24-62. In this program, "cohort" means that you start and stay with the same group of students throughout your time at Xavier; other Xavier students outside of the HRD program are not allowed to register in the Executive HRD courses.

I live and work outside the Greater Cincinnati area; could I be part of this program?
We have had a number of students who have commuted from Columbus, Cleveland and Dayton, Ohio, Louisville, Kentucky, and Lexington, Kentucky. We've even had students commute from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado and Missouri, and Costa Rica! Since our class schedule only requires 24 weekends over a 21-month period, students find that their travel here is worth the effort for the quality and format of education they receive. Students normally stay overnight in the homes of fellow students or local hotels. However, it is strongly encouraged that students avail themselves of all Xavier has to offer through frequent visits to the campus; during the first year of classes, group assignments will also necessitate coming on to campus more frequently.

Are there any prerequisites to the courses?
No. No specific courses are required to enter the program. However, we strongly advise that you learn how to use word processing software, since you will be handing in a number of papers throughout the program. Xavier uses Microsoft Word and PowerPoint on its network, which would be available to you as a student after you enroll. An e-mail account and access to the Internet is required.

How much time per week outside of class is required for homework?
Students spend between 10-15 hours outside of class per week for reading, writing, and small group assignments. This will vary depending upon the assignment.

Does this degree lead to any certification?
No. There is currently no certification process for academic programs in HRD in the US. The degree does not lead to teacher certification, in order to teach in school systems. Xavier University, however, is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges and the Ohio Board of Regents as a degree-granting institution.

What costs, other than tuition, are there?
Books average between $100-$150 per course. There is a parking fee per year, currently $60. There is a materials fee, currently $60, in the first semester to cover copying charges and purchase of materials for class. There is a $100 deposit which is applied to the first semester's tuition to confirm your place in the program; it is refundable if you withdraw before July 1st of the year you're entering class. There is also a $50 graduation fee.

What happens if I don't want to continue in the program; will my credits transfer elsewhere?
You receive graduate credits for each course you complete. Most master's programs accept up to 6 semester credits (9 quarter hour credits) of approved courses. Each university has its own policies on transfer.

What happens if I need to drop out for a semester?
If for some reason you cannot complete the program in the sequence for your class, with advance approval you can re-enter the program the next year with a new class. You cannot, however, re-enter the next semester with the class with whom you entered initially. If you know you will have to drop out for a semester in advance of applying, you should consider other programs; this is not a preferred option.

Is there a placement service after graduation?
There is a Career Services Center at Xavier where you can register for interviews and placement assistance. However, most companies do not recruit on campuses for graduate students except for entry-level management training programs. HRD faculty, current students, alumni and professional associations are your best ways to learn about jobs and opportunities. Visit the Career Services Center website at: www.xavier.edu/career

Is an internship required?
Most of the HRD students currently work full-time, so we don't require an internship in HRD. However, if you wish assistance in obtaining practical work experience, the Career Services Center lists a number of opportunities--paid and unpaid--for students. HRD faculty and students will also work with you to find appropriate experience.

Is there a preferred type of educational preparation or work experience to succeed in the HRD program?
We have students from all levels of business, health care, government, non-profits, and education, as well as with virtually every type of undergraduate degree. Some of the students already have master's degrees in other fields. Motivation, enthusiasm, and a desire to learn are perhaps the key elements in successfully completing the program.

What types of activities do you actually do in class--the amount of time sitting would be difficult if it's all lecture?
It would also be difficult for the faculty if it were all lecture! Each course is a combination of short lectures, group activities, discussion, presentations, case studies, exercises, etc. There are frequent breaks, and each professor is used to teaching in this timeframe and with adult students.

How will I be evaluated in the program?
You will receive a letter grade of A, B or C for each course you take. The grades will be based upon evaluation of a combination of individual and/or group assignments such as written papers, presentations, case studies, classroom participation, and group projects. There is no final comprehensive exam or thesis required for the program.

Who are your faculty?
There are two full-time faculty with doctorates assigned to the HRD program. In addition, part-time faculty are brought in for various courses. They all have practical experience in the HRD field and enjoy working with the type of students we admit. A minimum of a master's degree is required for part-time faculty. We also have a number of practitioners who guest lecture in the program.

Xavier is a Catholic institution in the Jesuit tradition; does that mean I have to be Catholic? How does it affect the courses I take?
Xavier's mission is to educate. Our essential activity is the interaction of students and faculty in an educational experience characterized by critical thinking and articulate expression, with special attention given to ethical issues and values. There is a strong ethical, not religious, component to our classes; you do not have to have a particular faith to be part of our program.

Why should I attend Xavier rather than other universities?
We believe that our program can provide you with student-centered, practical and current educational experiences from experienced HRD educators and professionals. We also believe that the cohort type program, where you enter and continue with the same group of students throughout the program, is most effective with adult learners in this field.

If you have questions about the content of the HRD program, please contact the Director, Dr. Brenda Levya-Gardner at gardner@xavier.edu or call 513-745-4287.

Updated 8/7/12