Past, Present, Future: Times of Change for Continuing Education Units in Higher Education Institutions

By Gail Ruhland and Gabriela Silvestre.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 4, 2014 $US5.00

This is a qualitative, multiple-case study that analyzes and compares the purpose, roles, and drivers of change for continuing education divisions in public, four-year, post baccalaureate, comprehensive higher education institutions in the United States. The research stems from a historical standpoint. This study also examined processes carried out by continuing education leadership to demonstrate quality and accountability to their higher education institutions. This investigation focuses on the distinctive drivers that have triggered and influenced changes in continuing education units within higher education institutions. The findings from this study illuminated areas in need of development and enhancement of continuing education units. The findings also supported the creation of standards and policies for continuing education divisions in higher education. This study contributed to overcome the dearth of empirical and theoretical studies on the role and mission of continuing education units.

Keywords: Drivers of Change, Drivers, Change, Continuing Education, Leadership, Qualitative, Multiple Case Study, Case Study

The Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 6, Issue 4, April 2014, pp.1-13. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 4, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 256.059KB)).

Dr. Gail Ruhland

Director of Corporate Education and Outreach, Center for Continuing Studies, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

Gail Ruhland serves as the Director of Training for the Corporate Education and Outreach division of the Center for Continuing Studies at St. Cloud State University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and Communication from Concordia College in St. Paul, a Masters in Business Administration from St. Cloud State University and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from St. Cloud State University. In her 10 years at SCSU, Gail has been committed to creating opportunities for professionals with credit and non-credit professional development programs. These programs have ranged from career exploration for “at risk” youth from the St. Cloud area to a week long Leadership Institute for Law Enforcement officers throughout the Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota and Wisconsin states. She is committed to the mission of continuing education to provide outreach and access to quality programs.

Dr. Gabriela Silvestre

Assistant Professor & Teacher Preparation Initiative Co-director, Higher Education Administration, School of Education, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA

Gabriela Silvestre is an Assistant Professor in the Higher Education Administration Programs, at Saint Cloud State University. She worked in higher education administration for over ten years. She is also the Teacher Preparation Initiative Co-director at Saint Cloud State University. Her areas of research interests and scholarship are international higher education reform policies, faculty issues, faculty of color, and students of color. Dr. Silvestre has presented her research work at AERA, AESA, ASHE, CIES, and NASPA national and international conferences. She has served as a discussant, chair, and reviewer for different professional-scholarly conferences, and organizations. In 2011, Gabriela Silvestre has received the IFO Feminist Issues Committee grant for the study entitled “The linkages between professional development and professional identities of female IFO faculty of color members in the context of the MnSCU”.


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