Carlow University’s College of Professional Studies is changing the way education is delivered to adult learners-at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The College of Professional Studies was launched in June with the following strategic objectives: increase adult and graduate enrollment; maximize the adult learner experience; deliver new interdisciplinary programs; and provide support for regional corporations in their workforce development efforts.
“Western Pennsylvania’s workforce needs are changing,” said Jim Ice, EdD, Dean of the College of Professional Studies. “To compete in today’s rapidly changing knowledge economy requires a commitment to continual learning. By 2020, 11.6 million jobs will require some form of a post-secondary credential. As companies automate and redesign work, they must continually evaluate and enhance their workforce capabilities.
Forty-three percent of this region’s higher education student population are adult learners seeking to enhance their knowledge and skills to meet today’s workforce demands, according to Ice.
“Carlow understands the special challenges of the adult learner and is prepared to offer customizable educational programming at all levels that will fit their schedule and help them make their unique mark on the world,” Ice said.
To accomplish this, Carlow’s College of Professional Studies is making its processes adult-friendly-from recruitment and admission, through course delivery to graduation and beyond. Carlow offers flexible, custom educational programs tailored to the specific needs of students or companies, which can be delivered on campus, in the workplace or online.
Ice said educators need to be responsive to the evolving needs of the rapidly changing economy and partner with companies to deliver innovative, educational solutions for the good of the region and its workforce.
“Carlow University wants to partner with companies to help them build and maintain the knowledge base and skills needed to succeed in an increasingly competitive world,” Ice said. Our flexibility, educational design and delivery capabilities allow us to provide innovative, often custom, solutions to the corporate partner.
Carlow’s Hub for Workforce Development and Innovation, for example, has unique capabilities to develop and deliver online technology-enriched programs designed to meet the unique demands of a company’s workforce. The Hub has created online professional leadership and targeted upskilling programs available to regional organizations to assist in workforce development.
According to Ice, as the region’s first institution to deliver competency-based credit programs, Carlow can develop programs that measure skill acquisition and application through competency- based programs, which allow students to demonstrate that they have gained -either through work experience or classroom experience-the skills needed to predict future success. Expanded certificate, continuing education and “stackable” degree completion programs are also a priority for the new college.
“We need to ensure that our students are prepared to adapt to future shifts in the workforce-to prepare for jobs that do not exist today,” Ice said. “That can be a challenge, but Carlow believes it can provide the signature education that supports the needs of the student, the employer and our region: Together, we can do this!”
To see where you might fit into the College of Professional Studies visit or contact Dr. Jim Ice or 412.578.6557.