Leaders in Professional, Continuing and Online Education

UPCEA in the News Archive

What does it mean to be an online learning leader? (November 4, 2015)


If online learning is to succeed not only as a legitmate option for learning but as a respected platform within an institution, leadership has to build that respect through calculated risks and building multi-departmental relationships.

That was the main takeaway from an EDUCAUSE conference panel on the "UPCEA Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership," based on a newly released report from UPCEA (University Professional and Continuing Education Association).

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Morning Education: Movers and Shakers (September 25, 2015)


The Online Learning Consortium and the University Professional and Continuing Education Association said they are now working together to advocate for the interests of non-traditional learners. 

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Blue Sky unveils database of professional-education classes (August 6, 2015)

Chicago Tribune

"There's been a transformation of learning recently," said Jim Fong, director of the University Professional & Continuing Education Association's Center for Research & Consulting. "This is a lower-risk alternative for a number of people for a variety of reasons. The perceived value of a traditional degree is changing."

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Revolutionizing Education: Bringing the University to You (March 28, 2015)

Education and Career News

Higher education is more important than ever in America. Unemployment among those who hold at least a four-year degree is now 2.8 percent (Inside Higher Ed, “The New Bachelor’s Payoff”)—less than half of the overall national unemployment rate. Historically, students would enter a college or university and live on or near campus for four or more years, dedicated to studying and learning. But society has changed, and learning has become a lifelong activity necessary to keep up with workplace and career demands.

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Evolving Credentialing to Meet the Needs of Outcomes-Focused Students (March 13, 2015)

The Evolllution

One of the main goals for today’s non-traditional students is using their higher education experience as a jumping-off point for their career. This, unfortunately, is also one of the areas where colleges and universities have had the most trouble creating value for their students. Degrees are still the main form of postsecondary currency, but employers and the general public question their value. Transcripts are not designed in such a way that employers can understand them and short courses and certificates unfortunately fall into the same category.

In this interview, the 2015-2016 UPCEA President David Schejbal shares his thoughts on what it’s going to take for higher education institutions to overcome this challenge to their value.

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Flexibility and Graduation (January 21, 2015)

Inside Higher Ed

Attending college full time isn't always the best way to get to graduation, at least for adult community college students who have previously pursued a degree and dropped out.

That's the central finding of a new study from a coalition of five higher education groups. The data are based on 12 million student records from the National Student Clearinghouse.

The American Council on Education (ACE), InsideTrack, NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) worked with the Clearinghouse to track the graduation and retention rates of non-first-time students. 

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Colleges' New Challenge: Keeping Students in School (December 31, 2014)

NBC News

....Some 77 percent of full-time students entering college in 2008 earned a degree in six years, compared with just 43 percent of students who attended a mix of part time and 21 percent of entirely part-time students, the study found.

"It still amazes me, the degree to which the recognition of the massive demographic shift in the American student body is still an unknown fact for most Americans," said Robert Hansen, chief executive of the University Professional & Continuing Education Association. His organization estimates that just 15 percent of college students today are full-time, first-time students living on campus. 

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Traditional College Experience Is No Longer the Norm (November 26, 2014)

Spectrem's Millionaire Corner

The concept of college being a four-year experience at one location is changing rapidly and frequently, according to a new national study.

The National Student Clearinghouse reports that more than half of college students in the United States today either go to school part-time, transfer at least once or do not start immediately after high school. These students are much less likely to get their degrees in the normal four or five years for a bachelor's or two years for an associates, the study states.

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Colleges' new challenge: Keeping students in school (November 24, 2014)


Think of college and, chances are, you picture 18-year-olds strolling across a leafy campus on their way from dorm to class.

That is not reality for most college students today.

More than half of college students today attend part time, do not start right after high school, transfer at least once or experience some combination of all three, according to new research from the National Student Clearinghouse. These nontraditional students are much less likely to earn a bachelor's degree in six years, or an associate's degree in three, than their younger, full-time counterparts.

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Dropping Out, Again: Why So Many College Students Never Graduate (November 17, 2014)

NBC News

A decade ago, then-18-year-old Sophia Stoll resolved that she wanted to go away for college. The working-class New Yorker enrolled in a private Catholic university outside of Pittsburgh, but by her junior year, she’d realized that the media and technology program didn’t suit her goals. Stoll dropped out, worked odd jobs for a year back home, then transferred to SUNY-Fredonia. But she ended up suffering from extreme anxiety, she says, and withdrew after a semester.
Several years later, she tried enrolling once again—this time at Brooklyn College—and enjoyed it. Yet after switching schools for the second time, she was discouraged to find that many of her credits hadn’t transferred. She withdrew the same year.
“The thought of going back again after all this time makes me tense up,” she said. “I also don’t want to take out any more loans” than the $11,000 she already has. It’s been two years since Stoll, now 28, left Brooklyn College. And because she has a stable communications job at a local union, she’s not sure she’s ever going back.

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The Architects of Online Learning: A Strategic Partnership for the Sustainability of Higher Education (November 10, 2014)


Information technology continues to have a major impact on the evolution of higher education, constantly creating new opportunities and challenges for all aspects of the institution. In the "IT Matters" department of EDUCAUSE Review, EDUCAUSE asks representatives of major stakeholder communities to reflect on how IT developments have changed their world and may continue to do so in the future and also on what those changes mean for their relationship with the higher education IT organization. In the following column, EDUCAUSE talks with Robert J. Hansen, Chief Executive Officer of the University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA).

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Choose Between an Online Graduate Certificate, Degree Program (October 29, 2014)

U.S. News & World Report

When it comes to making a decision about graduate online education, many may wonder whether to select a certificate or degree program.
Online certificates, which typically take a year or less to complete, often focus on developing a particular skill or furthering knowledge in a more specific area, experts say. For instance, somebody with a bachelor's degree in education might pursue a certificate in administration and supervision, as is offered at the University of Phoenix.
In contrast to certificates, online degree programs are "going to be broader," says Vickie Cook, the director of the University of Illinois—Springfield's Center for Online Learning, Research and Service.

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Study: Majority of Adults Who Re-Enroll in College Never Graduate (October 21, 2014)

Business Administration Information

Two-thirds of adults who re-enroll in college after a year or more of being away never end up graduating, according to a study released on October 7.

Using data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, the study was created by the combined efforts of the University Professional and Continuing Education Assocation, the American Council on Education, NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and InsideTrack, a provider of student coaching.

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Repeat Non-Completers (October 7, 2014)

Inside Higher Ed

Only one third of non-first-time students -- adult learners who re-enroll in college after at least a year away from higher education -- earn a degree after six to eight years, according to a study released today.
The study, based on National Student Clearinghouse Research Center data of 4.5 million non-first-time students, found that only 33.7 percent of those students, who re-entered college between 2005 and 2008, completed their degree. The completion rates for those returning students at public four-year universities and community colleges was 27 percent lower than for first-time students.

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Research: What Value Does a Degree or Certificate Hold for the Adult Learner? (August 20, 2014)
Campus Technology

The University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) and Hobsons completed a pilot study of 990 adult learners from eight higher education institutions during AY 2013-2014 and have recently released "Measuring Impact: Findings From a Study of Adult Student Gains and Satisfaction."
Investigators polled adult learners who had attained bachelor’s degrees (and/or advanced degrees), associate degrees, or credit certificate credentials from the participating institutions within the past five years. The research focused on the impact of these credentials on individuals, in an attempt to measure ROI not only in straight financial terms but also in other areas relevant to career and employment, such as perceived job security, promotions, salary increases, and feelings of confidence in the job marketplace.

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