Certified Remote Work Professional
University of Idaho Extension has partnered with Utah State University Extension to offer the Certified Remote Work Professional program. This one-month course supports workers who have some work experience in an office or small business and want to work remotely while continuing to live in their rural communities. The course combines independent online work with four interactive workshops to help you transition from onsite work into a virtual career.
This professional certificate requires approximately 30 hours to complete (6-8 hours per week over four weeks) and participation in all four online workshops. There will be no refunds.
The mission of the Digital Economy Program is to reduce the digital divide between rural and urban areas and between sociodemographic groups in Idaho. So, the benefits of digitalization can reach all Idahoans and ensure that no one is left offline in this evolving digital economy. To this end, we offer this course at a lower price to rural residents and people in need through funding made available by the State of Idaho. Applicants will only be charged upon being accepted into the program.
Applicants residing in Adams, Bear Lake, Bingham, Blaine, Boise, Bonner, Bonneville, Boundary, Butte, Camas, Caribou, Cassia, Clark, Clearwater, Custer, Elmore, Franklin, Fremont, Gem, Gooding, Idaho, Jefferson, Jerome, Latah, Lemhi, Lewis, Lincoln, Madison, Minidoka, Oneida, Owyhee, Payette, Power, Shoshone, Teton, Twin Falls, Valley and Washington, who are accepted into the program, can take the course for a fee of $50.
Applicants residing in Ada, Bannock, Bonneville, Canyon, Kootenai and Twin Falls who are accepted into the program, can take the course for a fee of $100. However, if you have financial needs or are a U.S. military veteran, you can apply for a $50 scholarship during the application process. This scholarship will reduce the total cost of this course to $50.
Applicants residing outside the state of Idaho will be expected to pay a nominal fee of $180 if accepted into the program.
The course lasts four weeks and requires 30 hours to be completed or about 6-8 hours per week. Most of the time is independent work except for one hour per week for the workshop (held Thursdays at 1 p.m. or 6 p.m. MT) and a group project.
To participate in the courses, you will need the following tools and abilities:
Reliable Access to Broadband — Participation in the modules and workshops throughout this online course will require a stable internet connection.
You must also have broadband internet (DSL, Cable, Fiber, etc.) with minimum speed of 8Mbps download and 2Mbps upload to participate in the video workshops. You can check your Internet speed using Speed Test (imagineidaho.org).
Web Camera and Microphone — Participation in the modules and workshops throughout this online course will require either a working laptop or desktop with a working web camera and microphone. Tablets and smartphones are not sufficient. Chromebooks are not supported.
Basic Computer Proficiency — Student success in this course will require proficiency in the areas listed below. While we do teach the use of new tools, basic proficiency in the listed areas will be required. Are you able to do the following on a computer?
- Send an email with an attachment.
- Download and upload a file to/from your desktop.
- Do basic tasks in a word processing and spreadsheet program.
If you are looking to learn basic computer skills or need a refresher, visit DigitalLearn.org to access free courses.
The program consists of nine modules, delivered in a self-paced, online format plus a weekly interactive workshop (four in total), hosted via video call using Zoom, a free videoconferencing software.
These workshops allow students to discuss career goals and review content from the modules in a virtual environment that mimics a real remote team. In these workshops, you will interact with instructors and other course participants. Due to the virtual hosting of the workshops, you can attend the workshops from any location with internet access. Participation in all four workshops is mandatory for this course.
The workshop schedule for each cohort is posted in the course description before enrollment. If you cannot participate in the workshops, please enroll in a different course section that is compatible with your schedule.
Your participation in the Certified Remote Work Professional online certificate course is supervised by a UI Extension program coordinator, based on where you live in the state. The program coordinators will help guide you through the course in Canvas, Utah State University's learning management system. They share hosting responsibilities for the workshops and provide mentoring and resources to help you successfully prepare for remote work and freelancing.
All workshop times (1 hour): 1 p.m. or 6 p.m. MT
All applications are due by Noon MT
Start & end dates: June 5-30 (Application due: May 29)
Workshop days: June 8, 15, 22 & 29
Start & end dates: Aug. 7-Sept. 1 (Application due: July 31)
Workshop days: Aug. 10, 17, 24 & 31
Start & end dates: Sept. 5-29 (Application due: Aug. 28)
Workshop days: Sept. 7, 14, 21 & 28
Start & end dates: Oct. 2-27 (Application due: Sept. 25)
Workshop days: Oct. 5, 12, 19 & 26
Start & end dates: Nov. 6-Dec. 9 (Application due: Oct. 30)
Workshop days: Nov. 9, 16, 30 & Dec. 7
Earn this professional certificate in 25-30 hours (6-8 hours per week over four weeks).
This educational program is designed to equip workers with the tools and skills needed to transition from onsite work to a virtual career. The program consists of nine core modules with the following objectives:
Module 1: Work Day
- Summary: Learn more about the components of an average day in the life of a remote worker, including mobile office, flexible schedule and equipment.
- Objectives: Computer, webcam and audio are set up with a professional background. Meeting and schedule are successfully coordinated and added to a calendar.
Module 2: Communication
- Summary: Discuss the unique strategies and requirements of virtual communication, including styles, tools and empathy.
- Objectives: Messages are professional, clear and accurate. Agendas and reports are detailed and complete. Actively participate in meetings and contribute often.
Module 3: Critical Thinking
- Summary: Understand how to problem solve autonomously, including finding resources for solutions, earning trust and filtering information.
- Objectives: List of resources are credible. Solution steps are clearly and accurately outlined. Resolution is succinctly summarized.
Module 4: Workflow
- Summary: Understand the processes of task management, including projects, delegation, goals and tracking.
- Objectives: Project management tool successfully set up. Project includes discrete tasks, timeline, dependent tasks and participants. Can update project regularly.
Module 5: Productivity and Time Management
- Summary: Evaluate the strategies for effective independent personal management, including productivity, motivation and scheduling.
- Objective: Tracks time, including detailed information. Daily priorities match task/project/team priorities. Schedules show effective time management.
Module 6: Teams
- Summary: Learn about how teamwork occurs in a virtual work environment, including trust, project collaboration and "netiquette."
- Objectives: All phases of team collaboration are completed, and collaborative tasks are finished. Participated actively and facilitated others' involvement.
Module 7: Compliance
- Summary: Discuss the legal precautions of working online, including information security, risk prevention and office compliance.
- Objectives: Password manager installed. Security checklist is complete and accurate. Can identify common security risks.
Module 8: Virtual Careers
- Summary: Evaluate and prepare for virtual career options, including personal branding, virtual job search processes and remote industry options.
- Objectives: Format for portfolio is clear; work portfolio is complete; work portfolio has been successfully shared and reviewed.
Module 9: Remote Job Development
- Summary: Design the remote career of your choice and prepare a proposal for your program coordinator.
- Objectives: Program outcomes for all modules have been reviewed and evaluated; the agenda for meeting with the program coordinator is clear and complete.
Although the Certified Remote Work Professional online program is a non-credit course, periodic online assessments are used to confirm and measure learning. The online assessments can be repeated if you need to improve a score on a particular element. To successfully complete the course and earn the certificate, you will need to do the following:
- Complete all of the modules, including any assignments contained within each module.
- Pass each assessment with a minimum score of 80%.
- Attend four interactive workshops.
Upon successful completion of all requirements, you will be presented with a Certificate of Completion to add to your work portfolio. You will also be supported by UI Extension program coordinators as you move forward through the program and start to develop the virtual career of your choice.
Follow the steps below to enroll in the program.
- Apply for the Course: Complete the course application form, select your course dates and confirm eligibility for the program.
- Complete the Purchase: Once your application is reviewed, you will receive an email with a link to purchase the course. To ensure coaches can spend quality time with you, there is a limit of 40 seats per class granted on a first-come, first-served basis. You will be added to a waiting list in case this limit is reached. Once payment is received you will be accepted to the program.
- Apply the Code: Once you have paid, UI Extension will send you a registration code and link via email to complete the registration process. Use of this code is critical to ensure you are given proper credit by UI Extension upon successful completion of this program.
- Begin the Course: After you complete the enrollment process, one of our UI Extension staff will reach out to you to introduce themselves and help you throughout the course. A couple of days before your course begins you will receive an email from our program partner, Utah State University Extension (USU Online Courses), to create your Canvas account to participate in the class. Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to getting you certified.
Support for the Rural Online Initiative (ROI) was provided by Utah State University Extension. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the presenters/authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funders. Utah State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution and is committed to a learning and working environment free from discrimination, including harassment. For USU’s non-discrimination notice.