Greetings from Scottsdale, where I’m attending a conference of coding boot camp administrators. This summit was a rare opportunity for me to meet with continuing education deans, directors, and non-credit coordinators outside my usual ACHE crowd.
Aside from great programming over the last few days, this conference provided plenty of networking occasions, and shared insight related to our programming, challenges, and opportunities - truly great wisdom from seasoned continuing education administrators.
Yet there’s another sentiment to which many related in our conversations: the sense of isolation on campus when a majority of our colleagues are involved in the “day school” function, and simply don’t understand the work that we do to further the mission and purpose of the institution.
This isn’t necessarily an “us vs. them” dynamic, as increasingly more of the non-traditional students who we serve enroll in our programs, year after year - soon to be in the majority of post-secondary enrollments. Given that CE is characteristically enrollment-driven, entrepreneurial, and often competitive, we simply don’t take the time for community building within our institutions, as well as among other institutions on-region.
In thinking of the people that I’ve met over the last few days, several have moved across state or across the country recently, in pursuit of the next position. As such, they don’t have outlet or opportunities to readily foster relationships with counterparts and colleagues in the area.
This is why our ACHE regional conferences are so important, as well as the interactions, which take place in between our meetings. I look forward to seeing all of you at the regional events. As part of the spirit of our organization, we enthusiastically welcome newcomers at every event. Are you aware of someone new to town, or new to your division? Invite them to coffee or lunch next week, and offer a personal invitation to join us at the upcoming conference. Share the organization’s role in your personal and professional growth. Relate the value of the organization in meeting your goals as a higher education professional.
Over the upcoming weeks, I look forward to seeing old friends, meeting professionals new to the organization, and sharing best practices and emerging trends in professional and continuing education.
With Warmest Regards,
Bill Boozang, Ed.D.
ACHE President, 2018