Today, the field of online and professional continuing education is characterized by engagement in very complex, highly specialized areas of practice. UPCEA’s eight Networks are designed to serve professionals practicing in the key areas that define this vibrant and growing sector of higher education.

Networks are open to any UPCEA Member. Members can join any one (or multiple) of these networks by logging in to their profile, going down to My Networks + Committees then click "Browse Networks + Committees". Select the network you would like to join, and click "Join this Network/Committee".

Alternative Credentials

The mission of the Alternative Credentials Network is to share best practices and emerging trends related to non-degree or non-credit credentials, sometimes considered alternative credentials by postsecondary leaders. This is done through the exchange of ideas, programs, services, and initiatives that expand member knowledge regarding new, innovative, and entrepreneurial programs to serve the needs of diverse learners.

The Network represents postsecondary professionals that work within externally focused online and professional continuing divisions and units at post-secondary institutions. Network members are increasingly valued at their institutions as they are at the forefront of an emerging field identified for investment and expansion by many c-suite leaders.

Business & Operations

The mission of the Business and Operations Network is to share best practices and emerging trends related to the business and operations as well the strategic imperatives of online and professional continuing units at post-secondary institutions. We do this through the exchange of intellectual resources and expertise specific to work focused on the financial, human, operational, and IT resources required to support units that are entrepreneurial in nature.

The network represents business and operations professionals that work with externally focused online and professional continuing divisions and units at post-secondary institutions. It emphasizes the role business and finance professionals play in the advancement of initiatives that extend the reach of postsecondary institutions in their communities and beyond. The business, finance, human resources, operations, and IT needs of these units often differ from those same efforts in other colleges and departments. These efforts require knowledge of budget models, employment regulations, and IT infrastructure unique to online and professional continuing units which involves environmental analysis (both internal and external), identifying industry trends, analyzing the macro environment as well as international and political climates. This differs from both our peers in academic colleges and departments as well as those colleagues in centralized institutional offices (institutional registrar, bursar/cashier, IT, etc.).

Community and Economic Engagement

The Community and Economic Engagement Network's (CEE) core mission is to support network members in promoting new and innovative, internal, and external collaborations to help advance local and regional communities and economies and extend the reach of campus communities.

The network represents university outreach and engagement, inclusive of community, economic, and workforce development. It focuses on the role that universities can play in the advancement of initiatives that positively impact the quality of life in our communities and economies at the national, regional, and local levels, recognizing that some elements of this work often begins in the pre-K - 12 environment and continues through post-workforce years. CEE supports the mutual exchange of intellectual resources and expertise between the university and its broader external communities, including government agencies, businesses and industry, non-profit organizations, community groups, schools, and other educational institutions.

eDesign Collaborative

The UPCEA eDesign Collaborative (eDC) Network, serves higher education instructional design teams (instructional designers, multimedia developers and team administrators) in higher education seeking networking and professional development. Participation in the eDesign Collaborative Network provides access to a community of professionals who are interested in best practices for online course creation. The UPCEA eDC Network has three main objectives: 1) networking, 2) professional development, and 3) research and publication. As such, the eDesign Collaborative has an advisory council, comprised of the chair and vice chairs, which work to facilitate this vision. Each vice chair has a team of voluntary members from within the eDesign Collaborative community to assist them with their duties.


Local, state and national governments and industries are actively seeking international partners to expand markets and workforces that help address components of the global economy. Educational institutions are embracing the need for global competencies, are incorporating international concepts into the curriculum, are continuing to develop satellite campuses and are actively pursuing international students, international faculty, study abroad and exchange opportunities, philanthropy, etc. And these changes are happening in countries all over the globe—not just in the United States. For these reasons, the International Network is an indispensable resource, leading the profession—and the Association—toward a prominent role in navigating the globalization of the academy.
The International Network provides UPCEA membership with insights, general direction, strategy, trends, and models for integrating international education into their work. It creates forums for the exchange of ideas, programs, services, and initiatives that expand member knowledge regarding global and international education.

Marketing, Enrollment, & Student Success

The Marketing, Enrollment and Student Success Network (MESS) engages members in actively building the competencies, skills, and confidence needed by today’s professionals to successfully attract and retain students in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive adult, online and professional continuing education marketplace. The Network focuses both on powerful fundamentals and on new and emerging marketing, enrollment, and services practices that come from both inside and outside higher education. As a result, MESS members are recognized and valued for the critical role they play in their institutions’ success.

The MESS Network fosters a community where professionals at all levels can build their expertise and their leadership skills by learning from industry experts and from each other, and where the success of its members is celebrated and shared broadly. Members will also find cutting edge programming in the highly successful annual MEMS Conference.

Online Administration

The Online Administration Network (OA) serves as a bridge between the administrative functions of online learning (marketing, online student services, program development, etc.) and the design of online learning. Participation in the OA Network provides access to authentic institutional online operational models, best practice trends in online management, professional analysis of learning design applications, and the formulation of best practices in the use of technology and learning design in online instruction.

OA members have access to a community of UPCEA members with similar interests and needs to help you negotiate current issues and opportunities. Members can also participate in unique professional development forums such as the Summit for Online Leadership and Administration + Roundtable. 

Program Planning and Implementation

The Program Planning & Implementation Network (PPI) provides a forum for members to share and explore program management best practices and innovations in credit and non-credit programming. The Network supports the professional development needs of program coordinators, managers, and directors and the similar competencies necessary to be successful online and professional continuing education leaders. The network is a community that strives to identify, develop, and sustain innovative programs. This is done through the sharing of information obtained through environmental scanning, benchmarking, and institutional research to inform creative approaches to program design and management. Specifically, the network shares best practices and helps members develop competencies in creative program planning, implementation and assessment, and meeting student/participant needs with limited resources.


Get Involved with UPCEA

Professional development isn't just about attending sessions. Get involved with UPCEA to meet members from other institutions, share the great work your institution is doing, and hone your own skills. From submitting a session proposal for a conference or an article for a publication to serving as a volunteer on a conference planning committee, there are as many ways to engage with us!


Awards of Excellence

Since 1953, UPCEA has recognized its members' outstanding contributions to the Association and the field, as well as their achievements in innovative programming, marketing and promotion, community development and services, research and publications, and many other areas.