Tackling the Tough Skills Dean's Certificate Program for Trainers

Where: UMSL, One University Boulevard, J.C. Penney Conference Center

Register Online | Mail-in Registration Form | Call (314) 516-5994

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Are you committed to helping hard-to-reach adults or teens prepare for the workplace? Looking for new ways to positively impact the lives of hard-to-reach or at-risk individuals? Looking for new resources to teach life skills to employees in the workplace? Here's a new opportunity to learn a fresh approach to teaching critical life skills, or what some call "soft skills." Read below for more info, or Download Our Informational Flyer.


Back by demand, a 12-hour Dean's Certificate program is being offered through the University of Missouri–St. Louis to train trainers of adults and/or teens. This certificate program will use a proven life skills curriculum called Tackling the Tough Skills™: A Curriculum Building Skills for Work and Life (Revised Edition). The instructor of the program is the author of the Tackling the Tough Skills curriculum, Rosilee Trotta, LCSW.

The Tackling the Tough Skills Dean's Certificate Program for Trainers offers 12 hours of instruction in life skills training at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Participants will earn 1.2 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) through the two-day training. This certificate program meets requirements for training funded by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Participants will have ample opportunities for practice and discussion using many of the original activities in the curriculum. This certificate program will equip participants to teach critical life skills related to:

Who should attend?

Soft Skills

Soft skills aren't "fluff." They are the life skills that many take for granted, yet are critical when a person doesn't have them. Like:

This training is intended to familiarize participants with the curriculum and to teach how to use it effectively with target audiences. The instructor will use fun, interactive techniques and demonstrate how to engage participants. However, this training is not intended to teach participants how to be a group facilitator.


The foundational curriculum used in this training is Tackling the Tough Skills™: A Curriculum Building Skills for Workand Life (Revised Edition).

This is a fun, innovative and highly interactive life skills curriculum originally published in 2000 by University of Missouri Extension to help hard-to-reach adults or teens prepare for success in work and life. Recent research shows the curriculum is also effective in teaching soft skills to employees in the workplace.

Two versions of the curriculum are available for use in the training. Whichever book you order when you register for the certificate program will be yours to keep and use with your target audience. The choices are:

Since the curriculum was published in 2000, Tackling the Tough Skills™ has been impacting adults and teens in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and more than 25 countries around the world. It is used to teach life skills to diverse audiences, including Adult Basic Education/GED students, adult and juvenile offenders, school-to-work participants, the homeless, people in shelters, pregnant teens, and 4-H youth, to name a few, as well as to teach soft skills toemployees in the workplace. For more information visit http://extension.missouri.edu/tough-life-skills.

The Trainer

Rosilee Trotta, LCSW, serves as the Tackling the Tough Skills trainer and workforce development consultant. She is the author of Tackling the Tough Skills™ and Tackling the Tough Skills for Teens™.

Rosilee brings a kaleidoscope of life experiences to any training she leads. Life changed for Rosilee when she became a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador at age 18. Hooked on the euphoria of learning from other people and their wisdom, Rosilee continued her own schooling in inner-city hospitals, day-care centers, housing projects and social service agencies, as well as in an Eskimo village above the Arctic Circle.  Along the way, she picked up degrees in nursing, psychology, sociology, and social work, ending with a master's in social work and becoming a licensed clinical social worker.

Serving as urban youth and family specialist for University of Missouri Extension from 1992 to 2010, Rosilee was primarily involved in workforce development, offender re-entry programs, and offering training and educational insights into her curriculum. She taught workshops on parenting, diversity, conflict resolution, leadership, and anything relevant to families, youth and the workplace. In addition, Rosilee has served on a variety of boards dedicated to helping adults and children realize their potential. Retiring effective May 1, 2010, Rosilee continues her work with University of Missouri Extension as a workforce development consultant and trainer of the Tackling the Tough Skills™ curriculum.


Fee: $265 per person (plus lodging) through June 10, 2013; $299 (plus lodging) starting June 11, 2013. Includes your choice of either the Revised or Teen version of the Tough Skills curriculum ($80 value). Register in groups of 3 or more for a 10% discount!

Certification: This program meets the requirements for training funded by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).

CEU Requirement: Participants must attend th entire training to receive the 1.2 CEUs and Dean's Certificate.

Four Ways to Register

Travel & Lodging


The University of Missouri-St. Louis is just three miles from Lambert International Airport and 11 miles from downtown St. Louis. Lambert is served by all the major carriers, making St. Louis easily accessible from any point in the United States.

The MetroLink system connects the airport to downtown St. Louis and many points of interest in between, including UMSL. The University is served by two MetroLink stations, UMSL North and UMSL South. The J.C. Penney Conference Center, site of the Tackling the Tough Skills™ certificate program, is just a two-minute walk from the UMSL North station. At the airport, one-way MetroLink tickets may be purchased at either the Main Terminal or the East Terminal at a cost of $3.50. At all other MetroLink stations, one-way tickets are only $2.



Drury Inn St. Louis Airport
10490 Natural Bridge Road
St. Louis, MO 63134
(about 4 miles from the University of Missouri–St. Louis campus)

For hotel reservations, call (800) 378-7946. Use code 306255 or "University of MO-St. Louis."

Rooms available:

Use code 307840 or "University of Missouri". There is no lodging reservation deadline.

About St. Louis

Visit www.explorestlouis.com for information on St. Louis attractions, events, and dining.


“I can hardly wait to get back to work to start putting these ideas into action.”

“The curriculum is interactive, educational, and fun. I work primarily with Native Americans, and I know I will be able to interconnect this curriculum to meet the needs of my clients. Great class! I will recommend it to others.”

“This is the best material that I have come across in years. It gets back to the basics for those folks that missed out on these skills."

"Please market to staff development organizers, employers of all types--anyone dealing with the public in general.”

“I liked everything!! Very interactive and hands on. Rosilee had many interesting experiences that drove the points home. I learned ways to better assist my students in learning and helping themselves, as well as things about myself that I'll be implementing in my personal and professional life.”

"I learned so much!! Wow! This will help me not to be so judgmental. It gives me a new place to start with my 'customers.'"
"I scarcely know where to begin. This curriculum is definitely the missing link. I can't wait to implement this."
"I learned techniques and different approaches that I can use when working with difficult groups."
"I learned different lessons to use in order to prepare students for the future, how to reach my 'hard-to-reach' kids, and how to offer help and resources to students and parents."

"This was excellent training--the best I have ever attended! (And I have been around a long time!)"
"Very excited to use this material!! (personally and professionally)"
"I plan to include information with students to increase critical thinking skills. Learning materials to pass a test can be easily taught. Learning materials to live by is a challenge."
"I learned so much more about everything that I thought I already knew. The concepts put a different spin on what I do in the classroom with clients."