The Catholic University of America


Prepare to Pass with the #1 PHR/SPHR Cert Prep Tool

The SHRM Learning System® for PHR®/SPHR® 
Certification Preparation Course

This course is designed to provide you with an overview of key areas in human resource management. Materials include six modules that correspond to the six functional areas, responsibilities, and associated knowledge as defined by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI). The program is offered in cooperation with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) as study material for the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification examinations administered by HRCI.

Besides being a powerful tool to assist you in preparing for the PHR or SPHR certification exams, the SHRM Learning System also provides professional development for you and your HR department. The course provides a solid foundation for managing the HR challenges you face in today's demanding work environment; it supplies a current reference of HR practices, broadens the perspective of functional specialists, and strengthens individual competencies and productivity.

For those who desire, the SHRM Learning System for PHR/SPHR may be taken for undergraduate credit. Participants who choose this option may typically apply the credits earned in the course toward Catholic University's Certificate in Human Resource Management or bachelor's degree.


Who should take this course?

Our Human Resource certification preparation course is designed primarily for individuals seeking a PHR or SPHR certification.


Advancing your career. For those not seeking certification, the SHRM Learning System for PHR/SPHR course provides a comprehensive and accelerated option for professional development. Participants gain a generalist point of view, refresh key ideas and concepts, strengthen their understanding of core competencies and increase productivity.


As an added advantage, we use the newly updated 2014 SHRM Learning System for PHR/SPHR Certification Preparation. It features up-to-date content and advanced tools that streamline study time, accelerate learning and build confidence for passing the PHR or SPHR exam.  


By attending our course, you’ll benefit from:

  • An experienced, certified instructor
  • The SHRM Learning System for PHR/SPHR, ranked the #1 certification prep tool
  • A structured learning experience that keeps you on track
  • Opportunities to network and learn from your peers
  • Tuition reimbursement and GPHR recertification hours.

And, a special feature of CUA's SHRM program...  


·         College Credit: if desired, participants may choose to earn 3 semester units of undergraduate college credit for completion of the course.


This course is offered in partnership with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).The course investment includes all course materials but does not cover registration for the PHR or SPHR examinations.


The 2014 SHRM Learning System

Course Topics

The most up-to-date learning modules in print and e-reader format


The SHRM Learning System for PHR/SPHR includes six modules covering the entire HR Certification Institute body of knowledge so you’ll learn everything you need for the PHR or SPHR exam. Modules were updated to reflect the new HR practice and legislation in the HR Certification Institute’s body of knowledge.

1.     Business Management and Strategy

·         Strategic role of HR in organizations

·         HR business management skills

·         Strategic planning process

·         Evaluating the internal/external environment

·         HR and the legislative and regulatory environment


2.     Workforce Planning and Employment

·         Employee rights, privacy and consumer protection legislation

·         Organizational staffing requirements

·         Job analysis and documentation

·         Recruitment, flexible staffing, selection and retention


3.     Human Resource Development

·         Organizational development initiatives

·         Adult learning and motivation

·         Training and development

·         Talent and performance management


4.     Compensation and Benefits

·         Compensation structure and systems

·         Benefit programs (Government mandated, deferred comp plans, health care and other non-statutory benefits)

·         Compensation and benefits legislation

·         Evaluating compensation and benefits programs


5.     Employee and Labor Relations

·         Employee and labor relations legislation

·         Union organizing and collective bargaining

·         Unfair labor practices

·         Discipline and complaint resolution


6.     Risk Management

·         Organizational risk

·         Workplace safety, health, security and privacy

·         Risk management legislation


More ways to learn

Whatever your learning style, you’ll find ways to test your knowledge and build confidence. Use the interactive case study, featuring real-life scenarios and questions, to apply your knowledge. And, check out the Online Learning Center for a wealth of supplemental study materials:

·         Quickstarts – guided overviews for each module highlight key topics.

·         Assessment – identifies topics a participant already knows and those areas that require more time and attention.

·         Tests – more than 1,000 questions for continually testing knowledge and comprehension

 ·         Post-test – weighted and balanced to mimic the scored PHR/SPHR exam; presented in the style and format used by the HR Certification Institute.

·         Online Resource Center – includes downloadable audio and web casts, flashcards (printed, online or audio), HR updates, related links, feedback feature and more.


Preparing to Pass

When you complete this course, you should be well prepared to pass the PHR or SPHR exam.  Year after year, professionals who use the SHRM Learning System for PHR/SPHR consistently beat the national pass rate.  When asked if certification was worth the cost and effort, HR professionals, on average, attributed a personal ROI of 253% to certification.  Over one-third believed the benefits were worth more than FIVE TIMES the cost, suggesting an ROI of 476%!  (Source: "The Value of Certification Around the World." Independent research commissioned by the HR Certification Institute, 2010.)

Certification Information

Please note that to earn either the PHR or SPHR designation, candidates must meet certain educational and experience requirements specified by the HR Certification Institute.  All certification testing is computer-based and conducted at the 250 Prometric Test Centers around the country. These courses are designed to prepare you for the testing period that runs from May 1, 2013, through June 30, 2013.  For best results, schedule your certification exam for a date that is after the end of your class. Information on the PHR and SPHR exams is available on the HR Certification Institute Web site, by calling HRCIk at 866-898-4724, or by using their contact form located at

There is no single course of study that guarantees success on the HRCI examinations, but thousands of individuals have used the SHRM Learning System for PHR/SPHR and its predecessor to study for the exams. Course content reflects the general body-of-knowledge tested by the Human Resource Certification Institute. This course of study will in no way guarantee or assure success on the HRCI exam. Students must use the most recent edition of the SHRM Learning System for PHR/SPHR for this course and may not use outdated materials

Course Details 

Course Schedule - Fall 2014

Class #
Course #
This section is offered in cooperation with:
MPD 353
Human Resource Management
(SHRM Learning System®)           

Herb Casey, M.S., SPHR
Wednesdays, 5:50 - 9:20 p.m.
October 1 -
December 3, 2014

(No class on November 26)

Washington, D.C.

The Catholic University of America's Main Campus

620 Michigan Avenue, N.E., Washington, DC 20064

Adjacent to the Brookland-CUA Metrorail Station (Red Line)
This section is offered in cooperation with:

Montgomery County Chapter of SHRM


MPD 353
Human Resource Management
(SHRM® Learning System)            

Michele Fantt Harris, J.D., M.A.S., SPHR
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Five meetings:

October 4
October 18
November 1
November 15, &
November 22


Montgomery         County, MD

Tentative Location:

  Rockville, MD


Catholic University uses only instructors who possess solid academic credentials, practical HR experience, and either PHR or SPHR certification to teach the SHRM Learning System for PHR/SPHR. The instructor for each course is listed in the table above.


Non-Credit: $1,095 (includes all course materials)
               - SHRM, HRA-NCA & MCSHRM Members: $995

Course registration fee includes the SHRM Learning System for PHR/SPHR -- six workbooks that are based upon the HRCI test specifications -- and a certificate of completion. Each module includes:

  • In-depth readings to expand your knowledge and reinforce what you already know.
  • Application exercises that ask you to apply the information to "real-world" situations.
  • Periodic progress checks, with approximately 300 printed questions located throughout the course, to continually reinforce your learning, ensure your retention of the reading materials and provide test-taking practice.
  • A glossary of terms to make it easier to review key terms.
  • An index to help locate and review specific topics.
  • A bibliography for further research topics of interest.

The course also includes:

  • A software component that is designed to help increase performance on certification exams and encourage more strategic thinking on HR issues.
  • Individual post-module testing that allows you to assess your HR knowledge in each functional area.
  • A Guide to Smart Test Taking to help improve your test-taking skills.
  • Reference charts of important legislation, case law and commonly used acronyms.

Refund Policy

Registrants who cancel in writing at least three business days before the start of the course may receive a full refund. A substitute may attend if we receive notification at least one business day before the start of the program. Please note that you will not automatically be dropped from the course for non-attendance. 

If The Catholic University of America cancels the course, a full refund will be given. CUA's Metropolitan School of Professional Studies reserves the right to substitute instructors, change the day a program meets, or cancel programs due to insufficient enrollment or unforeseen events.


Most classes are offered on the Catholic University campus. Directions, and a map of the campus, are available at The campus is adjacent to a Metrorail stop (Brookland-CUA / Red line). If you prefer to drive, you will need to obtain a parking permit from Catholic University's Department of Public Safety -- after you receive confirmation of registration.

Registration Form

To register by fax, please send your completed application/registration form to (202) 319-6032. As the course approaches, you will receive an e-mail with information regarding how to obtain course materials, pay for tuition, secure a parking permit, etc.

To register by mail, complete the application/registration form and send it with a check made payable to The Catholic University of America.

Mail to:

SHRM Program (Pangborn 334)
Metropolitan School of Professional Studies
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Avenue, N.E.
Washington, DC 20064

Please list only one person per registration form and allow adequate time before the start of the course for us to process your registration. Confirmation will be e-mailed to you upon final processing of your registration. (Confirmations are not sent upon receipt - only after the registration has been processed. We typically do not start sending registration confirmations until about one month before the class begins.)

For additional information

PHR/SPHR Certification

Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI)

SHRM Learning System®/
SHRM Membership

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

HRA-NCA Membership

Human Resource Association - National Capital Area
(The D.C. SHRM Chapter)

Montgomery County (MD) Chapter of SHRM

SHRM Learning System® Course at The Catholic University of America

Tony Boehm, SHRM Program Coordinator
Metropolitan School of Professional Studies (Pangborn 334)
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Avenue, N.E.
Washington, DC 20064

(202) 319-5256