Assumption’s Continuing Education Program Celebrates 40 Years of Educating Adults
Continuing and Career Education (CCE) at Assumption has provided adults the opportunity to achieve their goals of obtaining a higher education for the last 40 years. Through convenient online courses, adult learners can study while balancing the many challenges and obligations of their rigorous daily schedules.
According to Dennis Braun, the director of the CCE program, 40 years ago when the CCE program was established, the majority of the student population were stay-at-home parents looking to return to college. While this demographic is still part of CCE students, the majority of students range in ages from 20s to their 60s, with an average student of 39 years old, who have full or part-time jobs and a variety of competing obligations.
Since its inception in 1979, thousands of students have taken classes or earned a degree through Assumption’s CCE program. As the program looks to the future, Assumption seeks to increase opportunities for more students to enhance their understanding of the modern workplace or earn a degree.
“Our students are coming back to school with different educational backgrounds,” said Braun. “Some have earned an associate’s degree and are transferring into our bachelor’s degree programs, others are coming back to retool their skills to complete a certificate program.”
Braun added that because “there are a lot of segmented adult students looking to earn their education, we need to try and meet their needs with accessibility.” In order to cater to today’s adult learner, this fall, Assumption’s CCE program converted 100 percent of its classes to online and began offering an accelerated format of 7.5-week terms, enabling students to achieve a degree in a shorter period of time.
Braun said that CCE’s most popular programs are the bachelor’s degree in human services and rehabilitation studies and the bachelor’ degree in business. However, there has also been an increased interest in certificate programs as students are looking for a quicker certificate program to “retool their skills and gain employment or advancement in their current position,” he said.
Other academic programs offered by Assumption’s CCE program include humanities and social sciences, as well as certificates and is home of the Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE).
Ever evolving, CCE is now exploring new programs that will fill marketplace demands by understanding the needs of local employers and the career growth opportunities in Central Massachusetts. Braun said they hope to add two new programs in 2020, in the areas of Computer Science/IT, business degrees and healthcare related programs, with additional programs to follow.
“As we work through new program development in 2020, CCE will be strategically aligned to fulfill the needs of the adult student,” said Braun. “CCE has always been known to provide individual attention to our students, we have a caring staff that provides a high level of service guiding students towards their lifetime goal of earning a college Degree! It is something we enjoy and take pride in.”
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