All the World’s a Stage
Preparing for Opening Night
We all know the world is changing rapidly—from technology platforms, to business and economic models, to demographic, political, and cultural trends. And iPace, Pace’s online degree completion program launched in fall 2011, helps respond to a number of those changes—targeting the fastest growing segment in higher education, the over-25 student population—as well as furthering Pace’s mission of preparing students for the professions.
The undergraduate degree completion program provides students the option to complete a bachelor’s degree in business, communications, nursing, and technology. “iPace was attractive to me because I felt it was a high-quality program that allowed me to be a full-time employee—as well as a full-time mom—and still be able complete my degree,” says Professional Communications Studies major Laura Acloque-Charles ’14. “It allows me to give my studies 100 percent because I’m able to do what I have to do in my home life and get that done without having the pressure of being in the classroom.” The program is conducted online with optional in person sessions at Pace campuses. It uses a variety of web-based technology, including web chats, real-time online events, ePortfolios, and iTunes lectures that allow students to be part of an active and engaged class.
“The faculty designers of the iPace programs have worked diligently to bring curricula to students that would meet the needs of busy people whose lives do not enable them to attend traditionally designed degree programs,” says Assistant Vice President for Continuing and Professional Education Christine Shakespeare, PhD, who spearheaded the initiative.
iPace has seen rapid growth, with more than 100 students enrolled to date, and celebrated its first graduate in Spring 2013: Shanika Cherry ’13, who received her BS in Computer Forensics from Seidenberg. Pace’s online programs have garnered national recognition, with U.S. News & World Report ranking Pace #1 in the nation for online undergraduate degree programs and #1 for online degree programs for veterans.
Fine-Tuning the Show
Many professionals recognize that education is a lifelong commitment, and Pace’s Continuing and Professional Education program reflects the core of Pace’s philosophy by assisting go-getters looking to enhance their marketable skills in a variety of courses in new and emerging fields. “Our programming must always adapt to the ever-changing marketplace,” explains Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Robert Keating.
“The more we can deliver, the more effective we can be, and the better positioned our adult learners will be. The courses and programs in Continuing and Professional Education are consistent with Pace’s continued mission to train people for the workplace and prepare them for a wide range of careers.”
Continuing and Professional Education also aligns with Pace’s goals for growth. “Under the strategic plan, we were charged with developing a new revenue stream, one that raises the reputation of our academic programs, particularly the non-credit programs,” Keating says. The strategy is that if someone has a positive experience in a non-credit program or course, he or she may later consider enrolling in one that’s for credit. Added to the diverse mix of offerings under continuing and Professional Education are exciting new courses and noncredit certificates in Paralegal Studies, Human Resources Management, Project Management, Financial Planning, Solar Panel Design, and Test Prep. A complete listing of courses can be accessed via the newly launched website at www.pace.edu/CPE.
Over the next two decades, roughly 10,000 baby boomers a day will be turning 65. That adds up to a vast population of talented, experienced individuals who will be making a big transition in their lives. They are a major resource of talent and experience that Pace hopes to help mobilize to fill important niches in nonprofit and public service organizations.
In February 2013, Pace took its first dive into the fascinating world of Encore Careers, or “second acts for the greater good.” Hosting a discussion featuring Marci Alboher, former New York Times career columnist, author of the Encore Career Handbook, and vice president of Encore.org, Alboher introduced the Pace Community to the concept of launching careers later in life that promote the spirit of service.
The event was the impetus for a new program at Pace that will help people who have reached the end of their midlife career transition to new careers that offer them flexibility, income, and the opportunity to make an impact. The new six-session Pace Encore Career Program will be broken into two segments: the first focuses on self-exploration and assessment; the second consists of practitioner-based seminars and workshops that provide information and leadership skills in both for-profit and nonprofit public sectors. From opportunities in health care and the arts, to education and government, Pace will provide aspiring Encore talent with the information and skills they need to make the exciting transition.
Learn more at www.pace.edu/ipace.