Development of Continuing Education Units at Highly Selective Private Universities

Topics: Organizational Structures

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Research Questions

  • How and why do university leaders convert an office of continuing education into a school?
  • What strategies can continuing education unit leaders employ to gain legitimacy and autonomy within the university community?
  • What for-credit and other programs do these units offer and how are traditional faculty involved in the curricular review process for these instruction?


Some universities have converted continuing education units into academic schools offering for-credit degrees. This report examines the history, organization, and program approval process of continuing education units at four highly selective private universities.