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Continuing Education: Organizational Structure

As institutions of higher education transform to meet the changing needs of students, workforce demands, and fluctuating levels of financial support, continuing education (CE) efforts on campuses play an increasing role in today’s college-going population. Two prevailing models describe university CE unit organizational structure: decentralized and centralized.

In a decentralized model, individual schools and divisions within a university develop and implement adult, nontraditional, and/or CE programming unique to their specific audiences and market needs, often in tandem with or informed by current school-level programming, faculty, and initiatives.

Conversely, in a centralized model, CE programs are aggregated into one, recognized, cohesive school or unit that is responsible for the university’s adult-facing programs and degrees and manages the university’s outreach for this market: program development and implementation, student recruitment, ...

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