Research & Learning at McGill

2010-2011 Issue 1

Dr. Judith Potter — Dean of Continuing Education

As I write, the leaves on Mount Royal are turning brilliant orange, deep golden-yellow and rich crimson. The temperatures are dropping and the calendar tells me the year is winding down. But here at the Centre for Continuing Education, it’s much more like spring. There’s so much newness in the air, it’s exhilarating.  New students, staff and instructors. New initiatives and partnerships. New programs and courses. And of course our new marketing look, which I’m sure you’ve seen in newspapers and Metro ads, on our website, and in the relaunch of our newsletter.

We a re obviously in a fruitful growth period. Over a year ago we made that clear in our Strategic Directions document, which lays out our road map through the 2012/13 academic year. A large part of this action plan is fueled by qualitative research that we undertook to better understand our mission, as well as the changing needs of our clientele, instructors, staff and partners. Many of the changes you see at CCE are a direct result of this research.

This fall we unveiled six new programs in finance, supply-chain management and financial planning services. These programs – plus five new courses in project and quality management, investments and finance – illustrate how responsive we are to the evolving needs of our students and the organizations where they work.

In the feature Roundtable article, you can learn more about how our new Intensive Language and Culture programs have been such a success, attracting students from far and wide to McGill. A recent in-depth survey of these students provided a wealth of data on how cultural topics stimulate their language acquisition both inside and outside the classroom.

In conjunction with two CEGEPs, we have commenced a two-year research project to benefit high-tech employees who have acquired significant knowledge and skills through on-the-job experience but perhaps have little or no formal training. The results of this project will certainly feed into the curricula and assessments in our IT courses to help our instructors identify their students’ existing skills and smooth the path to new or more rewarding IT jobs. The gains from this project will then be expanded to all CCE programs.

Our instructors lead the way in bringing new technologies, methodologies and up-to-the-minute topics into the classroom for stimulating projects and learning opportunities. Outside the classroom, the committed volunteers at the McGill Institute for Learning in Retirement’s Community Outreach program are actively taking a little bit of CCE to seniors’ residences to extend our geographical reach.

Finally, with one of our students working at the UN this fall and an instructor writing a novel in Germany, there’s no lack of CCE news.  Please get in touch with your news, comments and suggestions, and let us know how we can continue to transform our multi-faceted community and contribute to your ongoing success

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