February, 2019, marked 10 years since the formal creation of the ______ University, College of __________’s Center for Professional Studies. Ten years of positive growth in the number of professional working adult learners served. What a great year to be celebrating this milestone; aligned to ______ University’s 150th year sesquicentennial celebration!
Given the significance of this milestone, this paper provides a rich historical account of the evolution of the College’s efforts to serve the many professional working adult learners of our great State and Nation. The paper will address the growth of enrollments and gross revenue as each of the four phases evolved and matured. It will further examine the positives and negatives of each evolutionary milestone; specifically addressing the challenges of each phase, operating as a profit/loss center within a public non-profit research university.
Phase I, in the fall of 1998, the College’s Department of Industrial Technology took a lead role in implementing the first weekend master’s program (WMP) on the campus of ______ University in City, State. The original offering was cohort-based and it employed a weekend format; meeting from Friday through Sunday. The cohort met three times a semester, twice in the summer semester, for a total of five semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall and Spring). Because of its non-traditional approach, the state’s authorization included the establishment of a different fee structure than normal on-campus classes which resulted in a program cost that was higher than traditional on-campus equivalent programs. Hence, the beginning of tuition-based versus fee-based program offerings.
Phase I, the initial on-campus distance-hybrid offering in the fall of 1998 spawned a comparable off-site instantiation of this sole modality in 2005.
Phase II, the 2005 instantiation was delivered in an on-site format at the location of a target corporate partner. This industry- and corporate-specific outreach instantiation provided for the first time, significantly increased outreach and enrollments outside of the main campus and the prior and on-going, on-campus, distance-hybrid baseline programs.
Phase III, began in 2010 when the online administrative organization, in collaboration with the academic departments, entered the distance education market with three semi-asynchronous distance programs. Semi-asynchronous distance offerings created a significantly greater outreach, one not bounded by geography.
The online administrative organization now enters Phase IV, the offering of 100%, globally available asynchronous delivered programs with highly evolved marketing and subsequent outreach. These new scaled program offerings place the unit at the precipice of great change once again. This new targeted emphasis on asynchronous global outreach is expected to realize challenges, as well as opportunities not previously experienced.
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June 22, 2020, and to all visitors after the conference ends on June 26, 2021
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