Foundations of Retail Program
NHPA offers the Foundations of Retail Program courses to help managers and key employees understand the key concepts of leadership, personal development, merchandising and more. These online courses are built with flexibility for busy schedules and feature industry-specific training created with the help of industry-leading retailers.
Online Course Options
NHPA offers five online courses for new and seasoned leaders and managers. Courses start every month and offer flexibility for busy schedules.
Your Leadership Style
In this introductory course, students will learn about their unique leadership style and strengths that will provide a framework for their ongoing leadership growth and career development needs.
Leading Your Team
This course teaches students the critical components of building and leading a team, including communication skills, conflict management, talent development and ongoing performance management.
This course focuses on the key financial management skills that developing leaders need to learn to manage the financial side of business, including understanding the financial framework of a retail operation, key sales drivers and the most important ratios that measure retail productivity.
This course provides students with the strategies and skills to manage merchandising and assortment planning at their stores, including visual merchandising, vendor relations, category management and more.
Mentoring is a key component to developing great leaders at any company. This course trains current and future mentors on all aspects of the mentor/mentee relationship and how to serve as a mentor.
Learn More About Each Course
This Learning Guide provides an in-depth overview of each course, including full course descriptions, modules covered and key takeaways associated with each class.
Developed With Retailers in Mind
Each module is structured to provide students with flexibility while maintaining a positive work/life balance.
Courses were designed to help students experience a sense of community by connecting with students and instructors.
Core instructional videos within the curriculum are presented by top Ball State University instructors specializing in leadership development and entrepreneurship as well as industry experts in financial and merchandising management. NHPA Instructors will also engage students throughout the course and make sure they understand and stay up with the curriculum.
This program was developed with input and guidance from leading independent home improvement retailers, including Aubuchon Hardware, Buchheit, Friedman’s Home Improvement, Foxworth-Galbraith, Jerry’s Home Improvement, Sunshine Ace and Wilco Stores. It is designed to meet the specific needs of leadership development within the industry.
Each student will be assigned a mentor within their company to guide them through the learning process. Mentors are provided with discussion points, learning objectives and full access to the curriculum to help engage students in how to apply what they have learned.
At the conclusion of each course, students will be ready to perform a subjective assessment of their business unit and apply their new skills to address some of the core issues in the business and recommendations for improvement in key areas.
Click here to watch a final project video from a recent graduate.
When students complete Foundations courses they are eligible to receive a scholarship for the amount of tuition paid (minus course fees) to attend a future class of the NHPA Retail Management Certification Program. Contact Scott Wright at NHPA for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
``I will use everything I've learned to communicate with employees and be a leader they can trust. I learned so much about myself and how I interact with others.``
- Madison Franklin
Gold Country Ace Hardware
``This course is more about understanding yourself in order to become a better leader than it is about getting a list of action items to check off in order to call yourself a leader.”
- Jimmie Olsen
Foxworth Galbraith Lumber
``I've learned more about entrepreneurial leadership, which to me means treating the business like it's mine—thinking outside the box and looking at the store through the eyes of the customer and my staff.``
- Laurel Cooper
Tashman Home Center
``Leaders are always growing, learning and changing. This course provides all three opportunities.``
- Jimmie Olsen
Foxworth Galbraith Lumber
Scott Wright, Executive Director – Advanced Retail Education Programs
317-441-4136, or swright@YourNHPA.org
Review admission requirements or enroll for an upcoming session.
About the Program
The NHPA Foundations Program was developed in conjunction with a consortium of leading home improvement retailers and Ball State University’s Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise.