Frostburg State University Launches Working Professional Certificates Program

Sep 22, 2021 12:00 PM

In an effort to provide real-world, high-quality training to working adults, Frostburg State University launched the Working Professional Certificates program this fall in Manufacturing Leadership, Retail Management, Small Business Management and Nonprofit Management. 

“We are leading workforce development in Maryland by launching these certificates at the undergraduate level,” said Dr. Sudhir Singh, dean of FSU’s College of Business. 

The Working Professional Certificates program is designed to take one year of part-time study, earning 12-18 credits. Coursework will be entirely online, with accessible scheduling for working adults. 

Since courses are offered for undergraduate credit, students can take the certification or apply the courses toward a bachelor’s degree in the future. 

FSU professor Dr. Martha Mattare helped design the program along with Content Developer Wayne Keefer. Mattare earned her Ph.D. after rising through the ranks in a business career. She believes strongly in giving working professionals coursework with real-world applications. 

“This program is for that person who needs a jumpstart in their career. They don’t have the time and ability to finish that degree right now, but they do have the time to commit to something for a relatively short time that will get them another few steps up the ladder,” Mattare said. 

While developing the program, Mattare and Keefer surveyed local working professionals to find out which concentrations would be most useful. They settled on the initial four. 

A major component of every certificate will be the newly created capstone seminar. Discussions with practicing business professionals will provide insights that students can use on the job. For the Manufacturing Leadership certificate, for example, managers will give video tours of their facilities and share how they overcame challenges. 

Assignments will directly apply to professionals’ careers. For instance, Manufacturing Leadership students will learn how to prepare for supply chain disruptions, such as those that happened during the pandemic, and Nonprofit Management students will learn how to design a funding campaign. Small Business Management students will write a business plan that they could take straight to the bank and Retail Management students will plan the transition of a business from brick-and-mortar to click-and-mortar. 

Throughout the program, classes will consider the latest business innovations and challenges, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I think that this is a very timely program in today’s environment,” Mattare said. “We’re seeing a lot of people leave their current jobs and search for newer, better opportunities. They need to have the skillset to compete for those better positions, and we feel that the certificate program is perfectly poised to be one of those steeping-stones.  

To learn more, call 301-687-4201 or email  

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit the Frostburg State web site or the FSU Facebook page. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.