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College of Continuing Education News

Celebrating a Century of Excellence: Opening Doors for 100 Years

With our centennial year approaching, we'll spend 2012 celebrating the thousands of lives enriched by continuing education and the dedicated faculty and staff who, constantly adjusting to a changing landscape, made these encounters possible.

And, much has changed since the College was founded. Course topics have come and gone but the amount of knowledge needed to thrive in today's information-saturated society exploded; methods of connecting instructors and students multiplied with each technological advance; and education, ever more expensive, became increasingly the path to a successful life.

Here, staff look back at the most recent decades and remember what has changed and what has stayed the same.

The Department of Independent Study [now Online and Distance Learning] provided flexibility - offering the learner the opportunity to enroll throughout the year, study at a distance, and work at the learner's own pace with faculty guidance. Unique innovations over the years allowed learners to access independent material via video and audio tape, television and radio, and newspaper.


- Anne Daly, Director, Information Center

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In 1974, we hired one of the first campus veterans' advisers to help respond to the over 1,000 returning Viet Nam veterans in that first year alone. At the same time, advisers were meeting with Viet Nam refugees - judges, teachers, businessmen - who were struggling to start a new life in Minnesota.


Today's CCE Information Center grew out of this one-stop outreach concept where skilled, welcoming staff members rapidly responded to the evolving needs of new populations of non-traditional students, helping thousands of individuals find their way into the University of Minnesota.

-Jackie Henning, Former Assistant Director of Student Services

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When I started in 1980, we did not have computers. Everything was done by hand. All the registrations were filled out by students and then alphabetized and filed by registration staff into metal bins. Grade reports were typed. When we first used fax machines, our phones started ringing off the hook because when someone faxed a registration they would call a minute later to see if we got it. I remember digging through piles of faxes looking for names. The biggest change has been technology. Web registration was unthinkable in 1980.


-Rick Benson, Registration Coordinator


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The first CCE scholarships were established in the mid-70s to provide funding for adult students who fell through the cracks for other scholarships on campus, which targeted traditional-aged students and required full-time enrollment.

Although many things have changed over the decades, students have changed very little. They continue to persevere under increasing financial pressure; juggle multiple roles; and overcome serious obstacles. They are motivated and determined to succeed.

CCE scholarships have enriched the lives of hundreds of students over the past 38 years, and those students are immensely grateful to the donors who have eased the way financially.

-Fran Van Slyke-Zaslofsky, Financial Aid Coordinator


Did continuing your education open doors for you? Coming this January, share your own memories at www.cce.umn.edu/centennial.

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