How can we run the Division of Continuing Education (DCE) more efficiently while still maintaining the highest quality of services for students? This has been an important question at the DCE for several years. As you probably know, we are committed to maintaining an affordable college education for adults and we are dedicated to giving our students the highest standards of academic and support services.
Over the past several years, Linfield College has conducted a thorough review of the DCE in order to answer this question. A major finding from the review is that decentralizing the DCE will achieve both our efficiency and quality goals. As a result, we have integrated many of the support functions formerly performed by the DCE with support functions already in place on the McMinneville campus. For instance, recruiting and admissions for the DCE are now integrated with the Linfield Office of Admission. Likewise, DCE registrar functions have been integrated with the Registrar’s Office, and academic advising is now integrated with the college’s main Academic Advising department.
As part of the reorganization of the DCE, we have hired Laura Brener to be the new Director of Online and Continuing Education at Linfield College. Susan Agre-Kippenham, Vice President of Linfield College’s Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, describes Laura as “an outstanding educator and administrator.” With over a decade in higher education administration, Laura has a wealth of experience in developing instructional offerings for undergraduate and adult students.
Currently, Laura is collaborating with directors from other areas of the college to ensure the DCE reorganization goes smoothly. In addition, she is developing a plan to strategically grow the DCE. As part this plan, the college is conducting SWOT analyses to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the DCE as well as opportunities and threats in the field of continuing education.
Ensuring we remain several steps ahead in the field of adult and online education, Laura is increasing the DCE’s emphasis on faculty development. Beginning this fall, faculty will have many more resources available for effectively teaching adult learners online. DCE faculty will have increased support in the areas of andragogy, adult learning theory, mobile learning and BlackBoard Learn. Students will benefit from a faculty that has been trained with their specific needs in mind. For potential students looking for advice on online college for adults, we recently updated our guide – take a look!
Our reorganization of the DCE is coming at a time of great growth for the program. This year we launched new online health certificates in health administration and global health, as well as a revamped curriculum for our online RN to BSN degree program. In addition, we have updated our online Business Information Systems degree so it can now be completed entirely online from anywhere in the world. As our academics and student services blossom, this is an invigorating time to be a part of the DCE community!