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Educator Spotlight: Professional Domestics Institute (PDI)

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In the middle of the Heartland, the Professional Domestics Institute (also known as PDI) has been training private service professionals for almost 20 years.  In this month’s Educator Spotlight, owner Carole Scudere gives us more insight into her program…

To start, please give us a summary of your school or program…

Professional Domestic Institute is the only state-certified schools that trains most all domestic staff. Opening in 1994, we have been in business for almost 20 years, not including the professional experience that was acquired before that.  Professional Domestic Institute offers several programs, including Estate Housekeeping, Estate and Household Management, and Innkeeping. Our offerings range from 1 day courses to 8 week programs. We have something for everyone, including home study programs. Professional Domestic Institute prides itself on the time and attention we pay to each student. We value them as people and work tirelessly to help them succeed not only in their coursework, but in their future career.

1.       How long have you been in business?

Professional Domestic Institute was established in 1994 and became state-certified in 1995.

2.       In a nutshell, what do you teach?

Professional Domestic Institute has several programs, including Household Management, Estate Management, Estate Housekeeping, and most recently, Innkeeping. We strive to give all of our students a comprehensive education that covers the technical skills they will need, as well as the social skills, demeanor, and discreetness that are expected from high net-worth clients.

 3.       What makes your training unique?

Our training is sought after because of the one-of-a-kind hands on training that we give each student. We keep the class sizes small so that everyone receives one-on-one attention with our expert instructors. As a result, we are able to get to know each student on a deeper level.  By understanding their strengths and weaknesses, our staff can tailor the training to suit the student’s individual needs.

 4. How long are the courses?

The courses vary in length. Our Household Management Program is offered in both 4- and 8-week segments (the 8 week allowing for more practice). Our Administrative Household Manager/Personal Assistant/Estate Manager Program and our Estate Housekeeping Program are 4 weeks. Our most recent addition, the Innkeeping Program, is 3 weeks.

In addition to our full programs, Professional Domestic Institute offers a series of 1-week, weekend and 1-day classes that will focus on one or several related topics, such as clothing care, formal serving techniques or applying for employment. These are great opportunities for experienced professionals to develop or refine a very specific skill that will aid them in their continual growth in private service.

 5.       How frequently are the programs run?

We have a variety of programs that are offered at different times throughout the year. All of our classes and programs are typically offered three times a year. The current schedule is always available on our website, www.housestaff.net.

6.       Do you have an online or correspondence courses?

We do. All of our full programs are offered through Home Study. Professional Domestic Institute was the first to start a Home Study option because we kept hearing from people that said they would love to attend our institute but they just didn’t have the time or could not afford to take off work. Students receive all our materials in the mail. They are able to complete their assignments on their own time in the comfort of their own home. We believe firmly in the importance of instructor guidance and feedback, so every Home Study student is given personalized feedback on their work. In addition, our instructors are always available for their questions throughout the entire process.

 7.       What are the requirements to attend your school?

We typically only accept students over the age of 27. However, the most important requirement is evidence that they have the right attitude and mindset to enter into the private service industry. Private Service has unique benefits, but it also has unique obstacles. It is not a field for everyone, so we always try to determine the fit before our students waste their time and money.

 8.       Who is your ideal student?

Our ideal student is one that is eager to learn and one that gives all their effort at every task, regardless of the sometimes unpleasantness of the task. You always hear about the importance of a “service heart” when it comes to household staff. We here at Professional Domestic Institute 100% agree. To be successful in this industry, you have to genuinely love providing impeccable service and you must take pride in you work. Those are the qualities we look for in our students, a dedication and appreciation of the craft.

9.       Do you offer placement assistance to your graduates?  What is your placement rate?

We have a training branch, Professional Domestic Services. We take the time to get to know our graduates so that we are able to find them a position is a match on a person and professional level.  We care about each student and want them to succeed, so we strive to find them the perfect position that will highlight their character and capabilities. As a result, our placement rate is more than 95%.  This is partly due to our commitment to our students, but it is also because we do not take on any students that we do not feel we can eventually place. We set high standards from the very beginning.  At this time we actually have clients who are waiting to hire our students and realize the importance of their education.

10.   Do you belong to any professional associations?

We are members of Powell Chamber of Commerce, Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools, and the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII).

11.   Are you accredited?  If so, with what entity…

All of our programs are accredited through the state of Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools, meaning that our curriculum must meet the state’s education requirements. Professional Domestic Institute sought accreditation because we share the Board’s mission to continuously improve standards of excellence and effectiveness. By becoming state-certified, not only do we ensure that we are giving our students a quality education, but we provide them with the security that if we fail on this promise, they have an option of recourse. By being held accountable by the state of Ohio, all our students have a regulatory body they can contact with any concerns or complaints regarding our program.

We aim to provide our students with everything they need to be successful. Our state accreditation is just another example of how much we value this goal.

12.   How much does your program cost?

All our programs have different costs. The Estate Housekeeping Program is $5,858. The eight week Household Management  Program is $10,000, and the 4 week Household Management Program is $5,950, and the four week Personal Assistant/Estate Manager Program is $5,950. Each of those prices includes the cost of textbooks and materials. The shorter programs and Home Study options are less expensive. More information about pricing can be found on our website, www.housestaff.net.

13.   Are financial aid, scholarships or payment plans available?

Unfortunately, we are not able to offer financial aid, scholarships, or payment plans at this time.

            For additional assistance you may want to check with your: Employer, Local Bank or        Financial Loan Institution, Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation Program (for           Veterans who qualify), Unemployment benefits where applicable,  Local County      Employment Agency, State Family & Employment Services, State Welfare Department,             State Department of Labor,  or local Church, etc.

14.   How can people contact you?

We can be reached by phone or email. Our number to our home office is (740) 881-3358 and our email is housestaff@columbus.rr.com,   info@housestaff.net.  I encourage everyone to check out our website, www.housestaff.net, and the website for our new Innkeeping Program, www.instituteforinnkeepers.com.

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About the Author:

Since 2004, Donna has been teaching job seekers of all levels effective job search strategies. In 2009, she published her book "Get a Job Without Going Crazy: a Practical Guide to Your Employment Search." Donna is based in Denver, and has presented workshops in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas. She continues to work with job seekers across the country.
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