News & Events
Edelbrock Named Dean of UA College of Continuing Studies
Dr. Craig S. Edelbrock has been named dean of the College of Continuing Studies at The University of Alabama.
Edelbrock comes to UA from Penn State University where he has served as chancellor of the School of Graduate Professional Studies, associate dean of the Graduate School and professor of human development and family studies since 2008. His appointment at UA is effective Jan. 14.
"Dr. Edelbrock's record of achievement in developing innovative and effective education and training programs is outstanding," said UA Interim Provost Joe Benson. "We look forward to his leadership and vision for our College of Continuing Studies."
As chancellor of Penn State's School of Graduate Professional Studies, Edelbrock has led and managed Penn State's campus near Philadelphia serving approximately 1,400 degree-seeking students, 2,500 students in continuing education courses and more than 35,000 conference and workshop attendees. He has also directed the operation and expansion of online degree programs, corporate training and continuing education, conference services and community outreach, and developed education and training partnerships with corporations and government agencies.
"I am thrilled to be joining UA during this extraordinary period of growth. I am looking forward to the College continuing its long tradition of innovation in extending UA resources to ever wider populations of students," Edelbrock said.
UA's College of Continuing Studies offers a wide variety of degree and non-degree programs through flexible learning formats, both by distance and on-campus; professional development and training programs; environmental and industrial programs; and numerous conferences, workshops and other programs.
Edelbrock served as associate dean of the graduate school at the University of Georgia from 2005-2008 and as associate department head and professor-in-charge of graduate studies at Penn State from 2001-2005.
His previous positions included director of research and associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Massachusetts and assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of numerous reports and academic publications.
Edelbrock holds a doctorate from Oregon State University and a bachelor's degree from Western Washington State College.
Alabama Snow Storms lead to UA Service Award
The staff of the University of Alabama New College LifeTrack office received the Sam S. May Commitment to Service Award at the recent fall faculty/staff meeting. Staff members were recognized for their ongoing commitment to their students, innovation and creativity, particularly regarding their efforts during spring orientation in January 2014.
"We had a three day orientation on campus scheduled that was interrupted by the snow storms," said Ana Schuber, program manager for New College LifeTrack. "Orientation was scheduled for Wednesday and the snow came in on Tuesday shutting down the university."
As the storm began to hit the southern states, students were left scattered across the country. Some students had already arrived in Tuscaloosa, while others were stuck in various airports, and in traffic.
New College LifeTrack staff members stayed in contact with students through e-mail, texting and even Facebook, many of them through the night.
"I was on the internet with one of our students who was stuck in traffic all night long in Atlanta," said Schuber. "We texted or emailed about every 45 minutes through the night. She was scared and I was scared for her. I advised those stuck in airports to head home and attend a later orientation"
While trying to make sure students were safe, the LifeTrack staff was also having to reorganize an agenda for the orientation. The three-day orientation that had been scheduled now had to be condensed down to one day in order to keep students on track.
Although it was a hectic week, the LifeTrack staff managed to make sure all students were safe, and those who did attend the orientation still received the full university experience.
10 Things to Know About the College of Continuing Studies
1. The College of Continuing Studies was founded in 1919 and quickly grew into five extension centers located in Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, Gadsden and Huntsville, Alabama. These centers have since evolved into UAB, AUM, USA, UAH and UA Gadsden Center.
2. The college delivers The University of Alabama to a truly diverse student population beginning with reading programs for elementary school students to UA Early College for high school students to training and online degrees for working adults all the way up to seniors in the OLLI Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
3. The College consists of four main divisions: Bama At Work, Bama By Distance, UA SafeState and The Bryant Conference Center.
4. Bama At Work is the College's business-focused division and provides customized employee development training, professional certificates and conferences to companies across the region. Typically more than 11,000 individuals per year take advantage of the diverse offerings through Bama At Work.
5. Over 10% of UA's entire student population is enrolled in a distance degree program through the college with 3560 students enrolled for fall 2014.
6. The College offers 18 undergraduate, 32 graduate and 15 doctoral degrees online to distance students around the world.
7. Through its New College LifeTrack program, the College is able to review a student's prior learning experiences, including those obtained on the job, and award college credit if certain criteria are met.
8. The college launched UA Early College in 2010 and has since provided UA courses to more than 4,000 sophomore, junior and senior high school students in 30 states. In 2013-2014 over 1,400 sophomores, juniors, and senior high school students earned more than 6,500 UA college credit hours.
9. Through its ACCESS program, the College operates one of three support centers in Alabama that provides teachers access to instruction and course content that may not otherwise be available to 8-12th graders in the state.
10. The College is home to UA SafeState and the region's only OSHA Training Institute - Education Center. SafeState offers environmental consulting services, safety and health consultation services, training, and environmental accreditation.
When UA LifeTrack student Anthony Sisco came to the University for orientation, he had no idea he would have the opportunity to get involved in a most unexpected way. Sisco joined the staff of the university's campus newspaper, The Crimson White, an accomplishment that is unique because he doesn't live in Tuscaloosa. Like most UA LifeTrack students, he is a distance learner and lives in Georgia.
"While on campus this summer, I picked up a copy of The Crimson White and was impressed with the quality and layout," said Sisco. "Their opinion page had a cartoon on it, and since that is one of the things I like to do, I submitted a cartoon relevant to Alabama that I had been thinking about for a while."
Shortly after submitting his cartoon, Sisco was contacted by Patrick Crowley, opinion editor for The Crimson White, asking to see more of his work and eventually offering him a job.
"Anthony is an excellent cartoonist," said Crowley. "He can sketch, draw and color cartoons speaking about any situation with a great touch of seriousness and humor."
Sisco is just one of more than 325 students enrolled at The University of Alabama through the New College LifeTrack program, a degree program through which working adults can earn a bachelor's degree from the university.
"It has been a long delayed dream for me to come to the Capstone, and the LifeTrack program has provided me with the perfect opportunity to finish my degree from Alabama, even though I live four hours away" Sisco said.
Sisco says he was elated to be asked to join the Crimson White staff and has since submitted more than twenty cartoons that are scheduled to run weekly. For more information regarding The University of Alabama New College LifeTrack program, please contact Cindy Franks at 205-348-7064 or visit our website http://learnon.ua.edu.
Inaugural Conference Announced to Address Environmental Management Challenges in the Southeast
New federal regulations and heightened community awareness have created challenging environmental compliance and management issues for companies across the Southeast. To address these issues from a real world perspective, the UA SafeState division of The University of Alabama, and its partners, is planning "The Alabama Environmental Conference" on October 20-21 in Orange Beach, Alabama.
Conference planners from the City of Mobile, ZF Chassis Systems, Alabama Gas Corporation, and other companies have designed the conference to create dialog and promote ideas to bring about meaningful, sustainable solutions to real environmental challenges that most companies are facing today. Individuals benefitting from attending the conference are those responsible for environmental issues within their companies, particularly manufacturers, utilities and municipalities.
"There are many conferences that focus on a specific area of the environment, but this is the only conference in the Southeast to address broader issues including energy and resources, waste reduction, compliance, management and sustainability," said John Sikes, acting Executive Director of UA SafeState at The University of Alabama.
Keynote speaker, Mayor Sandy Stimpson, will address how a proactive approach to environmental management can help enhance economic development and prosperity for the region. Additionally, environmental leaders with expertise in the Southeastern United States will lead breakout sessions over one and a half days to help attendees take away practical solutions they can apply right away.
"This is a teaching conference, but it's not theoretical in subject material. Companies of all shapes and sizes are getting hit with new regulations and challenges from all sides and they need help. We chose our breakout sessions carefully to deliver value to the attendees...information they can really use," stated planning committee member Kim Kimbrell, of automotive supplier ZF Chassis Systems, LLC.
For more information about the First Annual Alabama Environmental Conference to be held at the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Alabama, on October 20-21, 2014, please contact Jason Brasfield at (205) 348-9101 or visit the conference website at alabamaenvironmentalconference.ua.edu.
Although they have intelligent, hardworking and motivated employees, many countries around the world still lack resources needed to create safer work environments. According to the World Health Organization, Disease Control Priorities Project, developing countries bear more than 80 percent of the global burden of occupational disease and injury.
To help lower the hazards of workplace safety all over the world, UA SafeState, a division of The University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies, offers online safety training (e-learning) in areas such as Electrical Safety and Health and Safety Management. These courses are now beginning to impact workplace safety in underserved areas around the world.
Yusuf Jin, electrical engineer and Kenya native, says there has recently been a high need for electrical safety training in Kenya. "Electrical safety is a real issue here," said Jin, "Unlike in the developed world where you have regulations that are enforced, in developing countries like Kenya we still do not have this as part of a regulation or legal statute."
There have recently been quite a number of incidents reported to the media, the most notable of which being the main international airport for Kenya burning down in August 2013 due to an electrical fire. Nairobi Airport is the largest serving East Africa and was severely impacted for months.
As a way to help prevent these type of problems, Jin recently enrolled in UA SafeState's e-learning course for electrical safety.
"I personally wanted to be part of a solution that will help bring knowledge into the country and assist in reducing these incidences," Jin said, "I found that from all the institutions that offered the electrical safety course(s), The University of Alabama was the only one that provided an e-learning option that was quite affordable."
Jin has completed the electrical safety certificate program "Qualified Electrical Worker" and has returned to complete the "Electrical Safety Auditor" and Train the Trainer for Unqualified Electrical workers ...Machine Operator certificate programs.
"E-learning is a great way for people like me to continue learning with flexible timing," said Jin, "I am now a certified electrical safety auditor and a trainer on electrical safety, all in just 5 months."
These certificate courses meet Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), Department of Energy (DOE) and National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA).
For more information about these programs, please contact Tiffany Blount, Coordinator-Public Information at 877-508-7246 or email@example.com, or go to www.alabamasafestate.ua.edu.
The University of Alabama: Moving from classroom theory to workplace performance
As the economy improves and the labor market evolves, so does the need for new skillsets in the workforce. Companies are once again investing in employee development and fine-tuning their management processes and organizational competencies in order to prepare for the changing demands of a global market. The latest research from Destiny Solutions, a leading innovator of lifelong learning business solutions, reflects this growing trend with companies. According to Destiny, 70 percent of employers felt their employees would need continuous learning just to keep up with their jobs. Yet, the survey revealed that only 39 percent of employers have internal programs in place or contract to provide training in-house.
Additionally, company leaders are realizing that a significant amount of their senior leadership and most experienced workers will be retiring in the next several years, taking valuable knowledge and experience with them.
According to Leroy Hurt, Associate Dean of Continuing Studies, "We have learned from organizations that they feel an urgency about transferring knowledge to younger employees and also preparing younger employees to step into positions of greater responsibility. Companies will lean on their Chief Learning Officers to ensure comprehensive talent development programs that succeed in those different dimensions."
To help firms overcome such challenges, The University of Alabama, through its outreach arm, The College of Continuing Studies, (CCS) has been working with businesses large and small to identify training needs and management systems to address their particular problems.
For example, the college partnered with Allstate Financial's Southeast Region headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, to create the multi-phase High Performance Leadership development program to address specific company needs and desires to enhance management skills. High Performance Leadership was delivered on-site at Allstate. The CCS team is being lead by Dr. Robert Prescott, a leading expert in the area of executive leadership.
"Telephone interviews, combined with the latest in leadership research, determined the focus of the program," Prescott said, "We then customized our efforts around better communication, influence, decision making and accountability. These four essentials made an excellent launch pad for participants to focus on how to be better managers."
About 80 Allstate field sales leaders have taken part in two half-day training sessions that included determining their current level of leadership understanding, establishing individual leadership goals and developing individual personal plans and actions for achieving those goals.
Participants also received personal coaching phone sessions covering topics of their choice such as sales, people management and time management.
Chad Solomon, a Birmingham field sales leader for Allstate Southeast, was one of the participants in the CCS High Performance Leadership training and said he is already benefitting from the program. "I've finished my 90-day plan and am working on sticking to it, which includes being a good resource to the folks I manage and being more efficient with my time," Solomon stated. "I am also picking up new ideas in the course and am getting great feedback as a result of the things I am implementing."
As the relationship with Allstate has grown, the CCS team has developed other programs to meet Allstate's needs including preparation and coaching sessions for new agent candidates for the insurance licensure exam.
"The University of Alabama staff is delivering a program tailored to address our business challenges and develop leadership competencies that our leaders are already working to perfect," said Kim Barger, Allstate Southeast human resource manager. "Our company is intentional about continual learning for our employees and leaders alike. The UA program delivered the right mix of developmental learning for our leaders customized just for us."
Like the companies it works with, the College of Continuing Studies has evolved and adapted to meet the needs of its business customers. It's no longer about simply offering training certificates and conferences on the UA campus. Companies are demanding more responsiveness and accountability in almost every line item expenditure, especially employee development.
"Our college has always functioned somewhat like a private sector company. That's one of the reasons we have more flexibility than one might think when considering the University of Alabama," said Rebecca Pow, Interim Dean for the College of Continuing Studies. "It really is a great business model. We can bring the extensive resources of a major university to bear on a client's particular problem, when and where they need us."
Another company that CCS partners with is Lisega, in Kodak, Tennessee. Several "star" employees did not have the bachelor's degrees they needed to advance into higher levels of responsibility within the company. With the help of CCS, Lisega has placed two of its employees in the University's online undergraduate mechanical engineering program. Several other employees are currently completing prerequisite credit and by 2015, over ten employees are expected to be participating in the program.
CCS also identified and allayed two primary concerns companies have about making investments in employee development. They are concerned that the employee might leave the company after receiving training and the amount of time employees will be away from their jobs. While it is possible that an employee might leave, data suggests otherwise. In fact, the turnover rate for employees taking advantage of education benefits is reduced by 50 percent.
"These concerns are certainly understandable, but the University has come a long way in removing these barriers," stated Dean Pow. "By working with students to maximize application of transfer credits or evaluating past work experiences for academic credit, UA works to find ways to help students move through their degree program and save tuition costs. Clearly, those strategies benefit both the student and the employer. Many UA degrees are offered online and we can go to the employer's business site to deliver training, thus reducing the amount of time an employee is away from the job," Pow added.
"Help us solve problems in the workplace" has been the cry from the business community. Moving from classroom research and theory to problem solving in the business world is a goal that UA's College of Continuing Studies is happy to fulfill.
University of Alabama New College LifeTrack student Jerry "Ford" Burttram has been named the January 2014 winner of the prestigious Capstone Hero Award.
This university wide award is given to individuals that embody the best ideals of the University of Alabama and the Capstone Creed. According to the Office of Student Conduct website, a capstone hero exerts a positive influence over the University of Alabama community both academically and culturally.
"I was very shocked and honored to receive this award," Burttram said. "I have worked hard and gotten a degree in the past but I have never really considered myself an academic hero".
Burttram has served as the assistant coach for the UA wheelchair basketball teams for the past four years and has recently been named the permanent head coach for the teams. He also currently serves as the head coach for the UA adaptive golf program, the only adaptive golf program in the nation.
"The path that he has had to come has made him such a thoughtful student," said Ana Schuber, program manager for the New College Lifetrack Program. "I am so proud to see his love of learning. He's been on top of his goal and has never disappointed me."
Burttram, along with other Capstone Hero award winners, will be honored at an awards ceremony held in April.
The University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies hosted a reception in honor of 10 UA faculty members who completed the college's new Online Educator Professional Development Program, which prepares participants with the strong foundation needed to become a successful online educator.
Dr. Ann Graves, Dr. Cassandra Ford, Dr. JoAnn Oliver, Dr. Marilyn Handley, Dr. Karen Gardiner, Dr. Jimmy Williams, Babs Davis, Juanita McMath, Lori McCool and Steven Yates, received their certificate of completion on Friday, February 14 at the reception held at The University Club.
"This program greatly enhanced my skills and my knowledge about teaching online courses," said Dr. Williams, associate professor in the Criminal Justice department. "I am in the process of revising my online courses and it has helped me with planning out the best way approach course development."
The Online Educator Professional Development Program is composed of seven core sessions that focus on online course development best practices. Three additional elective sessions are taken based upon individual participant interests. Upon completion of the program, participants earn a certificate that can be placed in the participants Faculty Activity Record as professional development activity.
"The key to a successful online class is the student experience, and making the experience the best that it can be," said Rebecca Pow, interim dean for the College of Continuing Studies. "There is a fine line on how we influence the teaching process, so we approach it by teaching the teachers."
The Online Educator Professional Development Program was created and developed by Josh Michael, program manager for instructional technology and academic services.
"It is not easy to teach an online course," Michael said. "All of the faculty members who completed the program were very active and everyone benefited from it."
Faculty members interested in registering for the Online Educator Professional Development program should visit www.itas.ua.edu/pd. For more information about the program, contact Josh Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-348-5419.
Rebecca J. Pow has been named interim dean of the College of Continuing Studies at The University of Alabama. Pow joined the College of Continuing Studies in 1988 and most recently served as senior associate dean and director of academic outreach.
The appointment as interim dean was effective Sept. 1.
“Rebecca Pow has the expertise and experience to provide very effective leadership for the College of Continuing Studies, and we are looking forward to working with her in this new capacity,” said Dr. Joe Benson, UA interim provost, in announcing the appointment.
Pow joined the College of Continuing Studies 25 years ago as assistant director of academic programs and services. She was promoted to director of academic programs and services in 1995 and to associate dean and director of academic outreach in 2003. She was named senior associate dean in 2012.
In her roles as associate dean and senior associate dean, Pow has been responsible for the development and delivery of distance and non-traditional academic credit programs. The College of Continuing Studies currently delivers more than 25 degree programs in formats that include online, videotape and videoconference as well as programs taught at off-campus sites and in evening and weekend schedules.
Prior to joining the College of Continuing Studies, Pow served as coordinator of cooperative education and as a conference coordinator at UA. She earned her bachelor’s degree in advertising and her master’s degree in higher education administration, both at UA.
University of Alabama to Host Documentary Film and Discussion About Integration of UA Athletics.
The one-hour film Three Days at Foster is the largely untold story of the barrier-shattering athletes who maneuvered in the shadow of Gov. George Wallace's 1963 stand in the schoolhouse door, including Wilbur Jackson, Dock Rone and Wendell Hudson. Learn how these athletes and coaches navigated the minefield of social change.
Noted sports author and director of the film, Keith Dunnavant feels that "it's always important to know your history. The characters in this film represent who we were and who we became. It's hard to say why these figures are not better known, but it is my hope that Three Days at Foster will promote a greater understanding of that critical collision between race, sports and culture that fundamentally altered the way we think about black and white," Dunnavant said.
Keith will present Three Days at Foster at the Ferguson Center Theater on the UA campus, October 17 at 7 p.m. Former athletes, administrators and faculty who experienced these turbulent days of change at the Capstone will join Keith in discussion. The public is invited and donations for UA scholarships will be accepted at the door.
"The National Alumni Association is proud to sponsor this event along with the UA College of Continuing Studies and UA Office of Community Affairs as part of UA's year-long 'Through The Doors' celebration," stated Calvin Brown Director of Alumni Affairs. "It will be a moving presentation and I hope folks will come out and learn about UA's most important athletic history," Brown added.
Three Days at Foster will be shown in the Ferguson Center Theater on the campus of The University of Alabama, Thursday evening, October 17 beginning at 7 p.m. The public is invited and UA faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend. Visit threedays.ua.edu for more information about the event.
University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies sponsors "Through the Doors Through the Lenses" exhibit of rare civil rights photography.
More than 20 photographs depicting the Civil Rights movement--many never publicly viewed before-- will be displayed June 3-14 at the University of Alabama Bryant Conference Center. The free exhibit, compiled from the archives of the Birmingham News, is sponsored by the UA College of Continuing Studies, The Birmingham News and AL.com and will travel the state the remainder of the year, representatives said.
"These images depict one of the most important times in our nation's history that occurred right here in our state, just 50 years ago," said Carolyn Dahl, Dean of the College of Continuing Studies. "They represent some of our state's most courageous citizens during the times in which they lived and died. Needless to say, we are very proud to be associated with this powerful exhibit."
According to organizers some of the photos have never been published and were all but lost until Al.com and the Birmingham News began planning the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from the Birmingham Jail."
Images of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist church, former Governor George Wallace's attempt to block segregation at The University of Alabama, students boycotting Birmingham restaurants, and foremost leaders of the civil rights movement are included.
Dahl said she hopes the public will take the opportunity to view the exhibit. "Today, the College of Continuing Studies is able to serve many different segments of people—from the military, to high school students, to our seniors in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute—in part, because of the doors opened by the courageous leaders of the Civil Rights movement," added Dahl. "We believe it will help people remember the struggles and sacrifices that led to a better Alabama and a greater nation."
The "Through the Doors Through the Lenses" exhibit will be open June 3 through 14. The Bryant Conference Center is at 240 Paul W. Bryant Drive, Tuscaloosa. The exhibit is free to public.