Barbara Nelson was promoted in her position at Fred Meyer before she completed the Retail Management Certificate Program at CPTC. She is now working toward an Associate in Retail Management.

Online Program Advances Students in Retail Industry

August 20, 2014

Barbara Nelson enrolled in Clover Park Technical College’s Retail Management Certificate Program to continue her education.

As Nelson, a Fred Meyer human resources representative, progressed through the program, she was promoted to HR administrator. Upon completion of the program, she is now working toward an Associate Degree in Retail Management.

“I enjoy encouraging others to get their education,” Nelson said. “I like the fact that CPTC makes the process easy and affordable to get your education.”

Nelson enrolled in the program after a presentation by Instructor Ryan Reygers at a Fred Meyer HR meeting. The program has many selling points for those in retail, including that it’s online.

“The draw for retailers of it being online 100 percent is that they can go to work and work long hours and then go home and write their essays and read their chapters,” Reygers said.

According to Reygers, many of the students who earn their Retail Management Certificate receive promotions at work, and some, like Nelson, are promoted before they finish the program. Students prepare to advance in the retail industry through classes like Business Communications, Financial Management, Fundamentals of Supervision and Marketing.

Reygers himself is a product of the Retail Management Certificate Program at CPTC. He chose the program because it offered the business courses he needed for his career. He earned his certificate in 1999 and entered the retail workforce where he worked in several management positions.

Reygers remained in contact with his alma mater and later returned to earn an associate degree. Because of his professional experience, Reygers was encouraged to apply for the position of program instructor as the previous instructor prepared for retirement.

“Managing people and managing students is exactly the same thing,” Reygers said.

Many students who seek to earn the Retail Management Certificate continue on to earn an associate degree, including William Whitsett.

Whitsett earned his certificate in August 2013 and three months later was promoted in his company. He continued to take classes at CPTC and is about to earn his Associate Degree in Retail Management.

“I have something on my resume that most of my job or promotion seeking competitors do not have, and that is a college degree,” Whitsett said. “And it all started with signing up for the certificate program just a couple of years ago.”

The Retail Management Program prepares students for careers in marketing, sales, retailing, customer service, entrepreneurship, and general business applications. For more information, visit

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Ryan Reygers has been the Retail Management Instructor since 2011.