Lifelong Learning and Community Engagement
UW Oshkosh is committed to lifelong learning and 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 and adult education 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 Office, Center for New Learning, the Office of Continuing Education and Extension and the Marketing and Community Relations Office.
Adult Nontraditional Student Resource Office
The Adult Nontraditional Student Resource (ANSR) Office provides leadership and coordination of adult returning student services that are aligned with and supportive of overall UW Oshkosh goals. In 2010–2011, ANSR Office staff directly assisted 1,140 (no duplicates) prospective and current UW Oshkosh adult nontraditional students, representing a 57 percent increase from 2009–2010. Student mentors and ANSR staff worked with adult learners in 4,017 contacts.
Increased Visibility, Communication and Understanding
Efforts to increase the ANSR Office's visibility on campus and in the community included a monthly e-newsletter for students, faculty and staff. Staff participated in campus-wide activities and events such as the Career Fair, Taste of Oshkosh, workshops and veteran's programs and advised the Nontraditional Student Organization. Two successful Start Here, Start Now™ information sessions for prospective students focused on enhancing community visibility and attracted 58 prospective nontraditional students, nearly double that of the participation in 2009–2010.
Statewide outreach increased significantly in 2010–2011 as a result of ANSR Office staff presentations, program participation and leadership in a number of activities and initiatives statewide.
To achieve statewide outreach, staff members of the ANSR Office:
- Presented at the 2011 Adult Student Recruitment and Retention Conference, where the audience was college and university staff throughout the Midwest and beyond. Staff presented two sessions: 1) Creating an Adult Degree Completion Project: Key Components of Advocating for and Advising the Motivated Reentry Student; and 2) Putting it Together: PLA by Portfolio.
- Participated in UW System Prior Learning Assessment planning, problem solving and expansion efforts.
- Increased outreach efforts to student veterans by hiring two student veterans as student mentors; participating in the Veteran's Benefits Open House, which became a model to be used statewide at other colleges/universities; participating in Thank a Veteran Day; and participating on a campus committee for increasing visibility and services for veterans.
- Collaborated to sponsor NEW U event with NEW ERA schools, connecting with 30 prospective students for UW Oshkosh.
- Participated in the national Adult Nontraditional Student Higher Education (ANTSHE) conference.
- Presented in four orientation sessions focused on adult nontraditional and transfer students.
- Presented three "Working with Adult Learner" sessions to UW Oshkosh staff.
- Advised Nontraditional Student Organization (NTSO).
- Conducted four technology and library skill workshops to assist new students.
- Presented at the Oshkosh Community Organization, the Oshkosh Senior Center and the correctional facility education classes and fairs. • Participated in quarterly meetings of the Oshkosh Housing Coalition.
- Presented at Wisconsin College Personnel Association Annual Conference, highlighting the technology and library workshop developed and conducted by ANSR staff.
University Enrollment— Students age 25 years and older
The ANSR Office was awarded a UW System grant (Lumina Foundation for Education Funds) for a two-year Prior Learning Assessment Phase I pilot implementation.
The ANSR Office director was appointed to the board of a national publication, Recruiting and Retaining Adult Learners.
The ANSR Office staff encourages the utilization of best practices in adult education and serves as a resource to campus, regional, state and national audiences.
Graduation Project (Phases I and II)
The mission of the Graduation Project at UW Oshkosh is to provide access, support, guidance and academic advice for those who left the University before degree completion. The goal is to facilitate resumption of studies and completion of either a baccalaureate or an associate degree.
The keys to its success are the intense personalized support and assistance provided to individuals and the goal of increasing the number of degree holders in Northeast Wisconsin.
During the academic year 2010–2011, 55 students graduated through the project, which is a 25 percent increase over 2009–2010. Since inception in 2004–2005 the project has graduated 244 students. With 187 students enrolled in the three semesters in 2010–2011, enrollment of Graduation Project students increased 24 percent compared to 2009–2010. The project worked directly with 99 new contacts in 2010–2011, culminating in a total of 684 students served since 2004–2005. 36 percent of these total direct contacts have completed their degrees.
|GP Enrolled||GP Graduated|
This year's focus has been on increasing visibility both on and off campus. Staff presented on the UW Oshkosh Graduation Project at the Adult Recruitment and Retention conference as well as through small group discussions at UW-Sheboygan, UW-Whitewater, UW-Green Bay and FVTC Appleton. Referrals of returning students near degree completion by faculty, all student services and university administration offices have significantly increased. The Graduation Project has new marketing brochures for outreach to students seeking bachelor and associate degrees. Expanded parameters have been discussed with the Graduation Project Advisory Committee, and an expansive fall 2011 mailing will reflect their decisions.
Center for New Learning
The Center for New Learning (CNL) 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, CNL delivers compressed courses in hybrid (half online, half in-class) and online formats, as well as in classrooms at 14 public institutions around the state.
Partnerships and Collaborations
CNL continued to work collaboratively with the four UW Oshkosh colleges to deliver a variety of general education courses in hybrid, compressed and online formats.
Articulation agreements for the Fire and Emergency Response Management (FERM) major were expanded to include graduates of technical college EMS and Wildland Firefighting programs. We also completed an agreement articulating the FERM major with the Fire and Emergency Services program of Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio.
We updated the articulation agreement for the Leadership and Organizational Studies major, which accepts graduates from all campuses of the Wisconsin Technical College System. The updated agreement now includes the following technical college programs: Forensic Science, Aircraft Electronics, Architectural Technician, Biotechnology Laboratory Technician, Computer Systems Administrative Specialist, Electron Microscopy, Fashion Marketing, Finance, Graphic Design and Illustration, Media Design and Web Analyst/Programmer.
Curriculum and Program Delivery
A new course, Liberal Studies 230: Introduction to Leadership Studies, was developed and approved to provide an introductory survey to students before they move on to 300 and 400 level courses in leadership theory.
Liberal Studies 209: Introduction to Liberal Studies was revised and approved as a required course for all five CNL academic programs. This course will provide students with an introduction to the level and quality of academic work required for upper-division university courses.
Working with the Provost's Office, CNL received permission from the Higher Learning Commission to offer all of our majors and emphases in a fully online format.
CNL adopted the Quality Matters rubric and evaluation system for assessing the quality of online course delivery. All CNL courses are undergoing peer review utilizing the Quality Matters system. We require all online CNL courses to pass a Quality Matters peer review in order to ensure the quality of online course delivery.
In 2010–2011, CNL continued to expand its geographic reach by making the Leadership and Organizational Studies major and the Leadership Development emphasis available to Fox Valley Technical College campuses in Waupaca and Clintonville.
Staffing and Reorganization
In spring 2011, CNL hired an advising coordinator to oversee this rapidly growing sector of our mission. This position will allow for greater efficiency and consistency in our advising function. CNL also designated a 0.5 FTE retention coordinator. The person in this position has developed statistical measures for retention and established baseline rates for retention, persistence and graduation. She is currently developing and implementing a comprehensive plan for maximizing retention of CNL students.
CNL reorganized its staffing FTE to concentrate more efforts on recruitment and community outreach. We also designated two pre-advisors to strengthen our recruitment efforts by working with prospective students who have expressed interest in our programs.
Other Retention and Recruitment Initiatives
CNL staff developed a new database for tracking progress and improving communication with and about prospective and active students. This database allows recruiters, advisors and the retention coordinator to track communications with all prospective and active students, identify students whose progress indicates academic difficulty, and communicate with students who have stopped out in order to improve retention among this fragile population.
We fully implemented and continued to update and improve the comprehensive online orientation for all new CNL students. The orientation includes information on how to get the most from an online class, how to use the library's online resources and what to expect in a class geared toward adult nontraditional students. Feedback from new and continuing students has been extremely positive.
Professional Development and Community Outreach
In the 2010–2011 academic year, the faculty and staff of CNL:
- Held 21 memberships in professional organizations.
- Held 9 memberships, including some leadership positions, in community organizations and service groups.
- Attended 13 professional and academic conferences.
- Presented 4 papers at professional and academic conferences.
- Attended 6 off-campus professional workshops, seminars and short courses.
- Attended 39 on-campus workshops, seminars and symposia.
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 2010–2011, CEE served 3,765 individuals across Wisconsin and beyond. Offerings in 2010–2011 included 51 professional development opportunities, 28 personal enrichment workshops and five major conferences.
The 11th Annual Language, Culture and Education Institute attracted 187 participants and 85 professionals took part in the year's Adolescent Health Symposium. Approximately 130 professionals from across the Midwest gathered in Madison for the second Adult Recruitment and Retention Conference. Professionals who attended returned to their colleges and universities with new ideas; better prepared to serve the unique and various needs of nontraditional students.
The Northeast Wisconsin Alliance for Social Worker and Professional Counseling Continuing Education, in partnership with UW-Green Bay, offered four workshops, serving 235 professionals from Oshkosh, Waupaca, West Bend and surrounding communities.
CEE's Not-for-Profit Fundraising & Resource Development series of five workshops attracted 66 participants looking to strengthen their organizations. During the spring semester, the UW Oshkosh Journalism department partnered with CEE to offer those students having attended all five workshops free assistance with their organization's social media. Journalism students were paired with nonprofit organizations to provide assistance in developing and establishing social media strategies.
A new program in 2011, the Opening the School Gates conference, helped community members come together to address the growing bullying problem. Another new initiative, the Women's Wellness Conference, educated women from the community on how to incorporate the mind, body, and spirit in holistic wellness.
CEE offered four summer career exploration camps for area youth, including Basic and Advanced Fire Science Camps and GO! (Gals Only) Fire Science Camp. Our partnership with the Oshkosh Experimental Aircraft Association provided an opportunity for 85 young women to participate in Women SOAR, a residential camp for adolescent girls interested in pursuing careers in aviation. Other youth offerings included workshops on careers in health care and ACT Test Prep classes.
CEE embarked upon a new initiative, the Wisconsin Youth Leadership Academy (WYLA). WYLA is designed to serve "hidden heroes," or disadvantaged and diverse youth who are often overlooked by traditional leadership programs. An inaugural class of 35 students from across Wisconsin (and some from Illinois) learned practical skills, empowering themselves and others to be effective agents of positive social change. WYLA students are already making significant impacts in their schools and communities.
Community members have continued to stay active and engaged through Learning in Retirement. Membership in the program remains steady. In 2010–2011, 128 programs, workshops and seminars were offered with 9,000 registrations processed.
CEE moves forward in collaboration with numerous local, regional, civic and educational organizations and institutions to meet our constituent's continuing education needs. Maintaining these relationships has created partnerships resulting in program support to offset 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 provides marketing and communications strategy, resources and materials for the Division and each of the three units. Working with Integrated Marketing and Communications and the overall University brand strategy, MCR promotes programs in local communities, as well as throughout the state and nation.
Over the past year, we have evolved the branding of the Division as a whole. We have worked to educate our external audience about the programs and services offered and created awareness on campus about LLCE initiatives and unity. The branding campaign produced LLCE collateral material and print advertising, as well as standard statements that are added to all other unit advertising, brochures and publications.
Additionally, the Division worked with an external department to conduct a large, multi-platform market research project. This project targeted current students of credit and non-credit programs, working adults who are not associated with our programs, and representatives from area businesses. The goals of this market research project were to identify the continuing education needs of working adults and area businesses and analyze the perception of the Division and the three units. MCR will use the research to evolve the Division and unit marketing communications plans.
For the Adult Nontraditional Student Resource (ANSR) Office, our 2010¬–2011 marketing highlights included a new brochure for the Graduation Project and an improved marketing and communication plan for their biggest recruitment event, Start Here Start Now™. Marketing for the ANSR Office has continued to use new UW Oshkosh student profiles and focus on services and resources.
Marketing and communications for the Center for New Learning (CNL) has continued to evolve as MCR applies the market research and research on CNL student trends. Branding for CNL has continued to follow the 2009–2010 campaign, and messaging has transitioned to meet the communication needs of prospective students, as identified by our research. Over the past year, MCR has worked closely with the CNL recruitment team, forming a Marketing and Recruitment Committee, which develops and carries out the CNL marketing and communication plan.
Multi channel marketing has been the focus of our efforts with the Office of Continuing Education and Extension (CEE), with a primary goal of addressing participants' desire to go online for information and registration and a secondary goal of saving printing and mailing costs. Together with CEE program managers, MCR has worked to gather non-credit participant preferences in relation to marketing and programming through end-of-conference evaluations and program-specific surveys.
MCR has identified and addressed the changing needs of our target audiences through collaborative research, planning and execution of marketing plans. Through this collaboration, LLCE is able to stay competitive in marketing programs to adult learners.