Extended Education Counterparts Meeting

Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White
Chancellor, California State University
Extended Education Counterparts Meeting
Long Beach, CA
February 12, 2015

I am happy to join you this evening for the Extended Education Counterparts Professional Development Conference.

Counterparts has a rich history going back a decade, and remains a high priority as a way for extended education staff to network, share best practices and improve skills and knowledge. 

I would like to briefly highlight three areas of strength for extended education as identified by the Commission on the Extended University in support of the overall mission of the CSU:

First, capitalizing on the contributions and capabilities of extended education to address the workforce challenges facing the state, nation and internationally; second, strength in providing opportunities for lifelong learning and growth through innovative programs and certificates; and third, increasing collaboration and synergy among campuses to create technical, international, and industry solutions for societies’ headwinds.

Let me explain these three:

The first strength is in capitalizing on the capabilities and contributions. Because of the efforts by extended education at each of our 23 campuses, more students have access to lifelong learning for career advancement, to get a new job or brush up on skills.

Students who cannot access campus programs because they work, live too far from a campus or have competing priorities, benefit from extended education’s flexible scheduling, locations, times and modalities. 

Many of you are students, too, walking the walk and talking the talk, promoting lifelong learning in your daily lives.

The second strength is in providing opportunities for lifelong learning through innovation. Extended education has long been on the leading edge in the use of innovative technologies and programming. 

From the early use of television and video instruction, extended education has been an early adopter of new ways of providing instruction for students.

Extended education units also rapidly respond to local and regional workforce needs with industry-valued certificate programs and specialized training, often delivered at a workplace or online.

Because of the quality of programs and services offered by extended education, employers such as Kaiser Permanente, the Department of State Hospitals, and the California state government are choosing CSU instruction as a value-added option for employee growth and advancement. Maybe we can force-enroll a couple of key elected officials.

Third strength identified is that extended education units set an example for the system with their open and collaborative approach to lifelong learning.

By creating regional collaborations in areas such as STEM – or statewide efforts to address California’s incumbent workforce development community – extended education is gaining a reputation as a go-to collaborator with community colleges, industries and public agencies in creating career pathways and advancement opportunities for California’s workforce.

Let me continue with a perspective of a veteran. One of the populations well served by extended education are veterans.  Here’s what Tyson Heine, a wounded veteran and student at CSU San Marcos, had to say about his experience with extended education:

He says “most veterans who are transitioning back in to civilian life need the versatility of less restrictive programs in order to support their families and continue their psychological transition … It’s important for many veterans to have a more dynamic degree program, and I can honestly state that I would not currently still be enrolled if not for the new, innovative learning approaches offered through extended learning.”

I want to leave you with one final thought: What you do every day makes a difference in the lives of students.
Be proud of the work you do and how it is helping to build a strong and vibrant California society.

Thank you.