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College of Continuing Education News

October 2011 Archives

Back to School

New professional master's degree helps the best and the brightest build the skills necessary to be leaders in the arts

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The brainchild of Sherry Wagner-Henry (director of graduate programs in the College of Continuing Education), the Master of Professional Studies in Arts and Cultural Leadership (ACL) degree is a unique opportunity for working professionals in the Twin Cities to learn, exchange, and develop working solutions that can be applied immediately in the community, through the arts and culture sector.

The program grew out of the College's interdisciplinary Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) degree in response to the demand for more professional master's degree programs, as well as the need for a degree specifically designed for those wanting to lead and manage in arts-related industries (the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs offers a general nonprofit management certificate program, but not one that deals specifically with the arts).

"The Twin Cities is a cultural mecca. We're in an area of the country that prides itself on its strong, supportive arts community, yet we didn't have any type of program that could educate people to become leaders and managers to benefit that community," says Wagner-Henry.

She continues, "Through feasibility study research, I discovered that many of our emerging leaders were headed off to other parts of the country to get graduate-level training. If you're lucky, they come back. But often, they left for good, making a home and an impact in their new community. It makes sense for us to target these people for our graduate program--otherwise we're losing some top talent that could be making their creative community impact here."


Minding the Gap

Information Technology Infrastructure graduate balances business skills with tech know-how

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At the age of eight years old, Josh Dyba fell in love. Or at least in intense fascination. When a friend of his got an Apple II computer, Dyba was instantly intrigued with the new technology and worked diligently to convince his parents he needed one as well.

"After I convinced them to buy one, I did everything I could to self-educate myself on the use--and eventually the programming--of that machine," he says.

And a decade later, when it came time to decide what to do after high school? "Based solely on my fond memories from all the plinking away on that Apple IIe. I decided to join the Navy and go into the Advanced Electronic Computer Field program."

His path led him to "develop a serious professional interest in computers and information security," and after finishing his time in the Navy, Dyba knew it was an ideal time to return to school and complete his college education with a degree in a related field.

It's a date

Minneapolis couple makes learning together a priority engagement

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"With all the media available to us today, it's become so easy to talk to ourselves, to miss out on a chance for dialogue," says Headliners discussion series regular Dr. Theodore Nagel. "The airwaves (and newspapers) are filled with people more or less shouting over each other, everything from Rush Limbaugh to the cast of "The View." It's nice to attend an event [like Headliners] where the audience can ask questions and experts can elucidate things in a true exchange of ideas."

In 2006, after seeing an advertisement for a new discussion series at the U of M, Nagel and his wife Judy decided to make a "date night" to go and hear stem cell expert Meri Firpo. The couple has been Headliners season ticket holders and regular attendees ever since.

"Our kids had all gone off to college by then," says Judy, "and we thought it sounded like a nice chance to be learning again ourselves. There are people doing amazing things at the U, and having a showcase like this is good for us and for them. It's a good way to get introduced to new and varied topics...and a way to show the public what is going on at the U."

Continuing Professional Education rolls out new workshop and short course series

This fall, the College of Continuing Education's Continuing Professional Education unit (CPE) launched a new series designed to give business professionals a "taste" of the department's short course and certificate offerings.

Building on the popular "lunch-and-learn" concept, as well as the success of other recent early-morning "mini-courses" CPE has hosted, the Breakfast With a Purpose series features short, engaging breakfast workshops that focus on key issues facing working professionals and business leaders.

The 60-minute sessions, which are led by CPE instructors, cover topics from a variety of focus areas, including human resources, communication skills, and leadership development. The goal is to deliver immediately applicable, highly relevant information in a convenient format. Breakfast with a purpose2.JPG