Learn more with new ALA Academy courses

Posted On: Sunday, 12 January 2020
ALA Academy

The newest learning modules include: How to Deal with Conflict, ALA Fundraising, and ALA Juniors e-Learning Course.

How to Deal with Conflict

Conflict is inevitable, but what’s more important, is how people react to conflict. How to Deal with Conflict covers defining conflict, the difference between conflict and complaint, what causes conflict, and strategies to resolve conflict. It’s designed as an interactive course, engaging the user through questions and scenarios.

This course was part of the original proposed content from Briljent, the training developer, that came from the idea behind Goal 2 of the Centennial Strategic Plan and the Organizational Effectiveness Assessment.

“I hope members take away how to approach difficult conversations, removing the emotional side,” said Stephanie Abisi, director of operations management at ALA National Headquarters.

Course Learning objectives:

  • Why conflict can be good
  • Strategies for handling conflict proactively
  • Strategies for handling conflict positively
  • A better understanding of your own style of handling conflict

“When you have multiple people with differing opinions, eventually you will have conflict,” Abisi said. “Conflict causes problems when you don’t address them or handle them appropriately. We receive many requests for help with conflict resolution. While we can’t address every issue, we hope this course gives members an idea to approach difficult conversations.”

ALA Fundraising

The ALA Fundraising course takes members through the four different ALA Foundation grants (Veteran Projects Fund, Sub Grants, Veterans Creative Arts Festival, and Mission in Action) and how to apply. It also covers how to host a fundraiser, including best practices.

“It was a lot of work, but I’m really excited about the end product and I hope our members love it too,” said Madison Maves, development director at National Headquarters. “We felt this course would be another good way to reach a larger audience on explaining the basics of what grants the ALA Foundation has to offer.”

Course Learning objectives:

  • Identify the four different grants awarded by the ALAF and how to apply for them
  • List tips and ideas for effective and successful fundraising
  • Discuss your success story with donors and the public
  • Outline the steps and actions to take when planning a fundraiser
  • How to effectively market your fundraiser

“From this course, I hope members learn the steps of planning and hosting a fundraiser from start to finish and that the ALA Foundation has grants to offer and enhance their fundraising efforts,” Maves said. “I also hope they realize that fundraising is work, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Just by sending a thank you note to a donor, you are still fundraising.”

 ALA Juniors e-Learning Course

The ALA Juniors e-Learning Course was specifically developed for Junior members. While any member, including Juniors, can access any ALA Academy learning module, this course was the first designed specifically with younger members in mind.

The process of turning it into an ALA Academy course began late last year after current Junior Leadership Course content was revised. The previous education course for Juniors was in PowerPoint format. Kids today want digital and easy access and this course gives them just that.

“The course is very similar to others, with the exception being there are two guides, Red and Blue, who take you through the course,” said Kristin Hinshaw, National Headquarters senior program coordinator.

Goals of this course:

  • Defining the ALA’s purpose for the Junior member
  • Ways Juniors can excel as leaders
  • Tips for speaking to groups
  • What happens at ALA meetings?
  • ALA officer roles and their job duties
  • The 10 principles of the ALA preamble

“I hope Juniors take away the goals, plus a desire to continue their membership in the ALA when they turn 18,” Hinshaw said.

Nevada Unit 14 Junior member Samantha Hook agrees. She helped review the course before it launched.

“I really liked the online Junior course,” she said. “I enjoyed how instead of having to do a lot of reading to find the answers, the program gave me videos, matching games, and the guides, Red and Blue, who gave me tips along the way. I also like the note page link it gave me to write down the information along the way.”

The ALA Academy launched in May 2017, with courses added each year. The academy is a free, professionally developed online training program developed as an initiative from the previous ALA Centennial Strategic Plan.

The program allows for self-paced learning, peer sharing, peer mentoring, and opportunities for ongoing training. The academy is designed for any member with an interest in learning more about the ALA or developing new skills.

In addition to the new courses, other learning modules on the ALA Academy site include: ALA 101; Communications 201; Leadership Fundamentals; Culture Basics; and ALA Branding and Why it Matters to Me.

To get started on your first ALA Academy course or to take another, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org/ALA-Academy.

ALA Mission

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.