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Thomas Andy Michaels

Thomas Andy Michaels photo

Thomas ‘Andy’ Michaels

Director of Workforce Development,
VHA CBO Revenue Operations
Department of Veterans Affairs

Class of 2015

In searching for my next degree, I explored several programs and was very impressed with the OPWL program. Aligned under the Engineering Department, it offered a comprehensive view of performance analysis and intervention beyond training development alone. The program far exceeded my expectations and I have grown so much both as an HPT professional and as a performance problem solver. I wanted to really dive into the field and really get an in depth understanding of different tools and methods that I could truly use on the job. While rich in theory, the OPWL program offers tangible tools and techniques that will help you develop and improve in your field. For me, applicability of the materials was most important. In the OPWL program, you have the opportunity to solve real world problems and develop solutions for real organizations through the class projects.

The OPWL is very challenging and you should be ready to be fully committed. However, if you are good with time management, study skills and caffeine use, you can succeed. I am proof that this challenging program can be completed by working adults with a busy family life. During this program, I juggled school, work and my three young children. Though I had some sleepless nights, it was more than worth it. During this program (and partially from this program) I was able to achieve two promotions at work and even maintained one year where I worked in both North Carolina and Washington DC driving back and forth each week while taking two classes and making sure I saved time to play with the kids. Lots of prayer and coffee!

The program was definitely worth it. If you want to develop yourself in Performance Improvement or Instructional Systems Design, the OPWL program provides tremendous tools and materials under the guidance of an exceptional faculty and staff team. Good luck in your studies!