Lifelong Learning and Community Engagement
UW Oshkosh is committed to lifelong learning and to engaging the community, region and state through the delivery of distance degree programs; creation of non-credit, personal and professional development opportunities for its citizens; and partnerships with business and industries to promote economic development. Throughout the institution, this commitment is expressed in ways in that engage students, faculty and staff in the community.
The Division of Lifelong Learning and Community Engagement (LLCE) was formed in spring 2005 to include units that specialize in educational programs and services for learners of all ages. Continuing education, nontraditional programs, community outreach, adult education — all of these are among the terms that describe the focus of LLCE.
The division continually strives to be a national leader in providing personalized assistance for high-quality, cost-effective, customized education and training while expanding access to UW Oshkosh through active professional mentoring and creative delivery of high-quality programming. Through partnerships and flexible program delivery, LLCE uses innovative technologies to provide affordable and accessible higher education for residents of northeastern Wisconsin and the global community.
The division consists of the following departments: Adult Nontraditional Student Resource (ANSR) Office, Center for New Learning (CNL), the Office of Continuing Education and Extension (CEE), and the Marketing and Community Relations Office. The division’s Marketing Office assists with market research and community connections.
Center for New Learning
The Center for New Learning delivers high-quality educational programs to adult nontraditional students in a variety of formats and locations. In order to extend opportunities for educational achievement to busy working adults, the center delivers courses in a compressed, hybrid format (half online, half in-class) and a fully online format, as well as in classrooms at 14 public institutions around the state.
CNL worked collaboratively with the four UW Oshkosh colleges to deliver a larger variety of general education courses in hybrid, compressed and online formats.
The unit’s curriculum committees revised and updated the Liberal Studies major and the Leadership Development emphasis in response to input from former students and an outside consultant.
CNL instituted a new course, Mentoring and Development, into the Leadership Development emphasis and the Fire and Emergency Response Management major.
The center developed and received approval for a new undergraduate, 21-credit certificate program in Fire and Emergency Response Management. The certificate program has been promoted and marketing to the firefighting community, and students are now being accepted into the program.
CNL continues to experience strong enrollment growth. From August 2009 to September 2010, the number of students with declared CNL majors grew from 426 to 540, a growth rate of 27 percent. The number of “seats” occupied in CNL classes grew from 992 in the 2008-2009 academic year to 1,221 in 2009-2010, a growth rate of 23 percent.
In fall 2010, CNL gained its first shared faculty members working in collaboration with the department of public affairs and the department of communication. These faculty members teach courses in their respective disciplines that support a variety of CNL programs, as well as identify opportunities to enhance our curricula by developing new courses. They are active members of the center, serving on curriculum committees and participating in staff meetings and other CNL events.
An additional adviser/recruiter was hired in 2009 for the Lake Michigan lake shore communities and campuses (e.g., UW–Manitowoc, UW–Sheboygan, Lakeshore Technical College). We are currently searching for an additional academic adviser and a coordinator of advising in order to keep pace with our continuing rapid growth in enrollments.
In 2009-2010, CNL continued to expand its geographic reach and, by fall 2009, began delivering baccalaureate programs to the following locations:
Liberal Studies major with Leadership Development emphasis (Bachelor of Liberal Studies)
- UW–Baraboo / Sauk County
- UW–Fox Valley
Leadership and Organizational Studies major (Bachelor of Applied Studies)
- Fox Valley Technical College, Waupaca
- Moraine Park Technical College, West Bend
In spring 2010, a module of Liberal Studies 302: Web of the Future, was taught entirely within the Second Life virtual environment. This was CNL’s first complete module taught within a virtual world.
With the help of staff from other campus offices, CNL has developed a comprehensive online orientation for all new students. The orientation includes information about how to navigate and get the most from online classes, how to use the library’s online resources, and what to expect in a class geared toward adult nontraditional students.
In 2009, the UW Oshkosh chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda was chartered. ASL is an honor society that partners with colleges and universities to celebrate the scholarship and leadership of adult students in higher education. In 2009-2010, 101 adult nontraditional students at UW Oshkosh were inducted into the society.
Adult Nontraditional Student Resource Office
The Adult Nontraditional Student Resource (ANSR) Office provides leadership and coordination of adult nontraditional student services that are aligned with and supportive of overall UW Oshkosh goals. In 2009-2010, ANSR Office staff directly assisted 728 (no duplicates) prospective and current UW Oshkosh nontraditional students, representing a 49-percent increase over 2008-2009. Student mentors and ANSR staff worked with adult learners in 3,704 contacts.
Efforts to increase ANSR’s visibility on campus and in the community led to the creation of a monthly e-newsletter for students, faculty and staff. Staff participated in the campuswide Career Fair, Taste of Oshkosh, counseling workshops, veteran’s programs and Women’s Center events. Two successful “Start Here, Start Now” sessions focused on enhancing community visibility and attracted 30 prospective nontraditional students.
Statewide outreach increased significantly in 2009 as a result of ANSR staff presentations, program participation and “taking the lead” in a number of activities and initiatives throughout the state.
- Adult Student Recruitment and Retention Conference
- Credit for prior learning efforts for the UW Colleges
- Development of prior learning assessment criteria for the UW-System
- Correctional facility education fairs and human services class presentations
Participation in the Oshkosh Collaboration Group and the national Adult Nontraditional Student Higher Education (ANSHE) conference
In addition, two new ANSR marketing pieces were launched to better communicate with prospective and current students. ANSR staff regularly submit articles and features for publication in Recruiting and Retaining Adult Learners, expanding ANSR and UW Oshkosh’s exposure and reputation to a national audience.
Graduation Project (Phases 1 and II)
The purpose of the Graduation Project (GP) is to identify former UW Oshkosh students to facilitate their University re-entry into appropriate degree programs, leading to degree completion. Students are provided with pre-advising, mentoring, and connection to academic advising and other appropriate resources.
Graduation Project staff assisted 202 former UW Oshkosh students in 2009-2010, bringing the project’s total student files to more than 500. During this academic year, 39 GP students completed their degrees for a total of 176 graduates since the project’s inception in 2005. During that time, 87 ( no duplicates) Graduation Project students registered for 325 classes to continue pursuing degree completion.
During spring semester 2010, Phase II of the Graduation Project was begun. Personal contacts were made with 699 former UW Oshkosh students who had “stopped-out” to offer them the option of returning to the University to earn an associate degree. In May 2010, a $75,000 COBE grant was awarded by the state for continuation and expansion of this successful project for both baccalaureate and associate degree completion.
Graduation Project presentations were made at both the Wisconsin Academic Advising Association and Adult Recruitment and Retention conferences in fall 2009. The goal of these presentations was to promote and encourage replication and development of adult degree completion projects throughout the UW-System.
Fall 2009-Spring 2010 Enrollment of Nontraditional Students at UW Oshkosh
Fall 2009 1,719 undergraduate 1,049 graduate 2,768 total age 25+
Spring 2010 1,759 undergraduate 1,186 graduate 2,945 total age 25+
Office of Continuing Education and Extension
The Office of Continuing Education and Extension (CEE) works with UW Oshkosh faculty and community members to provide a range of professional and educational experiences in the form of workshops, conferences, youth programs and short courses. In 2009-2010 CEE served 3,915 individuals across Wisconsin and beyond. Programming in 2009-2010 included 54 professional development opportunities, 34 personal enrichment workshops and three major conferences.
The 10th-Annual Language and Culture Conference attracted 169 participants, and 96 professionals participated in this year’s Symposium on Adolescent Health Issues. Nearly 200 higher education professionals gathered in Madison for the first Adult Recruitment and Retention Conference, sponsored by Continuing Education and Extension. Professionals who attended returned to their colleges with new ideas about how to serve the unique needs of nontraditional students.
In 2009, CEE offered eight summer career exploration camps for area youth, including Basic and Advanced Fire Science Camps and a new program — GO (girls only) Fire Science Camp. A collaborative partnership with the EAA provided an opportunity for 85 young women to participate in Women SOAR, a residential camp designed for adolescent girls interested in pursuing careers in aviation. Other youth offerings included ACT Test Prep courses, a Spanish Immersion workshop, and two workshops for youth interested in careers in healthcare.
In September 2009, the Fifth National Seminar on Smokeless and Spit Tobacco summit led by the CEE brought together 350 tobacco prevention and control professionals and youth activists from across the United States. The summit raised awareness of the dangers of new smokeless products being introduced to youth in the U.S. and the world.
Membership in the Learning in Retirement program has decreased slightly to 300. In 2009-2010, 131 programs, workshops and seminars were offered, and 8,950 registrations processed.
In 2009-2010, CEE collaborated with numerous local, regional, civic, educational organizations and institutions to meet constituent’s educational needs. A number of these collaborations resulted in fiscal partnerships providing additional support to offset programming costs, thus making programs available and more affordable to a wider array of participants.
Marketing and Community Relations
LLCE’s Marketing and Community Relations (MCR) office is an essential part of the division, providing marketing and promotions for programs in local communities in northeastern Wisconsin, as well as throughout the state and nation.
MCR has continued to develop marketing strategies, print materials and a strong web presence for the units in the Division of Lifelong Learning and Community Engagement. Focuses this year included working with the UW Oshkosh Integrated Marketing and Communications office to understand and implement the new UW Oshkosh brand, developing a social media strategy for all three units, and focusing on student profiles to use in marketing materials.
Major marketing initiatives for 2009-2010 included web site updates, new collateral materials for the Center for New Learning, a cohesive and integrated brand for the Adult Nontraditional Student Resource (ANSR) Office and improved multichannel communication for the Office of Continuing Education.
This year, the three units in LLCE diversified programming with regard to the geographic spread of credit and non-credit programs. MCR has responded to this growth by establishing internal and external communication procedures. With help from the communications committee, the unit developed an intranet. MCR staff worked to build relationships among campus and community partners to promote both LLCE’s programs and the unique needs of adult students..