Certificate in Professional Decision Making and Problem-Solving

We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them. - Albert Einstein




The ability to self-manage, make effective decisions, and solve problems are some of the top skills employers look for in job candidates! (Indeed, 2022)

MSU's Certificate in Professional Decision Making & Problem Solving will help you gain the hands-on skills you need to set yourself apart as a confident decision maker and problem solver.

Learn the following core skills and complete all four virtual sessions to earn your certification:

  • Session I – Critical Thinking

    Many of today's job descriptions list critical thinking as a desired skill. Learn how to analyze a situation objectively, consider available facts and diverse viewpoints, and make logical decisions.

  • Session II – Improve Decisions by Minimizing Bias

    As individuals, we all bring our own knowledge and prior experience to situations. This can lead to unknowingly allowing personal bias to affect our decision making. In Session II, learn how to identify when and how bias influences decisions, and how to minimize bias to improve decision making.

  • Session III – Solve the Right Problem

    Learning how to solve the right problem will save time and solidify your reputation as a critical thinker and problem solver! In this session, you will learn how to conduct a Root Cause Analysis to ensure you are solving the most urgent problem, the root cause. This practical tool will benefit you in any situation that requires problem solving.

  • Session IV – Deciding How to Decide

    In this final session, learn how to determine when a decision is best made unilaterally, when it's best to consult with others, and when to allow the team to decide.



June 25, 27, July 9, & 11, 2024

Meeting Tuesday & Thursday
10:00am - 12:00pm ET
Live Interactive Program via Zoom




  • All of our classes include strategies to maximize learning and ensure an enjoyable, informative learning experience.

MSU employee discount & education assistance available. Please contact Kristi White at whitekr@msu.edu for more information.


Tina M. Riley

Dr. Tina M. Riley, is an Associate Professor in the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations at Michigan State University and served as the School's Director of Professional Development and Associate Director for 20 years.

She is a results-based educator and executive coach with expertise helping individual leaders, and organizations, achieve their full potential through high-impact communications that build trust and promote inclusion and engagement.

Her engaging and holistic approach to teaching facilitates learners' ability to move from theory to practice. Her teaching style makes complex concepts accessible to graduate students and seasoned professionals alike. Dr. Riley teaches academic and professional development classes including leadership and interpersonal skills development, labor relations, developing inclusive workplaces and conducting workplace investigations.

With her passionate and engaging style, Dr. Riley develops and presents customized leadership development programs for both public and private sector organizations, from manufacturing to the courts. Organizational leaders and HR professionals from across the globe including Bahrain, Cameroon, Canada, Georgia, India, and Nigeria report finding her programs to be highly beneficial both for individuals, teams, and organizations.

Dr. Riley holds a Ph.D. in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education, with a concentration in Communications, and a Master of Labor and Industrial Relations from Michigan State University.


  • Registration will close 2 business days before the start of the program or earlier if program enrollment reaches capacity.



  • Cancellation fees may be waived if the participant registers and attends the same program within 12 months. Fees may only be waived once.
  • Participants may send a substitute from the same organization for the same program and date by notifying Kristi White via email at least 5 calendar days in advance of program start date.
  • Cancellation more than 30 calendar days before program start date: full refund.
  • Cancellation 14 – 29 calendar days prior to program start date: 50% cancellation fee, remainder of program fee refunded.
  • Cancellation 13 or fewer calendar days prior to program start date: no refund.

MSU reserves the right to cancel programs when enrollment criteria are not met or for conditions beyond its control. Any additional costs incurred by the enrollee of canceled programs are the responsibility of the enrollee.



  • MSU's Federal ID Number is 38-6005984
  • Business casual attire
  • Please, no audio or video recording



Completion of certificate program has been approved for 7 continuing education credit hours towards Professional Development Program recertification.

Learn more about Recertification


Questions? We would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding this or any of our training programs. Please contact Director of Professional Development, Melanie Zaremba at mzaremba@msu.edu.