Magazine article The Catalyst

Editor's Page

Magazine article The Catalyst

Editor's Page

Article excerpt

Is the slope getting more slippery?

I ask this because many colleagues working in the various disciplines represented by our Council feel that they are being asked to do more and different things than ever before, and the lines between areas of responsibility are increasingly becoming blurred. Let me give you an example.

In the recent round of membership renewals, we asked people to update their demographic information, and also tell us what areas of responsibility they had at their college. The four principal areas we listed were continuing education, workforce development, community services and distance learning.

This is what people reported back to us (keep in mind that we'll be getting renewals for several months to come, so these numbers are really a snapshot taken at about halfway through the process):

Continuing Education - 248

Workforce Development - 211

Community Services - 151

Distance Learning - 86

An initial reading indicates that Continuing Education and Workforce Development are the leaders, but when you think about it for a moment, is there a significant difference between the two categories, or is it local terminology used to delineate responsibilities on a given campus? If we can agree to define Continuing Education as someone coming back to school to learn or relearn a skill, craft, competency or certification, how does this differ from providing courses, programs and training to keep the workforce current and viable? Then what exactly is Workforce Development? …

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