Office of Continuing and
The Office of Continuing and Professional Education provides centralized support for the development and operation of continuing and professional education noncredit short courses and other learning experiences to support workforce and economic development in Connecticut, regionally and nationally.
The mission of the Office of Continuing and Professional Education is to work collaboratively with faculty across UConn’s schools and colleges to design and deliver research-informed programs that:
- Provide access for adult learners, including UConn alumni, to high-impact continuing and professional education opportunities that align with career upskilling and reskilling needs,
- Contribute to economic development through partnerships with state and national industry leaders to develop agile and innovative workforce development solutions,
- Extend UConn’s academic brand to engage new and diverse audiences, including global learners through FutureLearn.
OCPE is led by Ruth Kustoff who supports individual faculty and the schools and colleges in navigating the design, development and delivery of noncredit courses. This includes using Genius as the noncredit registration portal, coordinating with elearning development, media production and marketing, when needed, and helping plan and strategize professional development offerings to a targeted group of learners. If you have questions about noncredit professional course development, email Ruth at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCPE as a Centralized Support Team
The Office of Continuing and Professional Education supports the development of noncredit short courses in partnership with UConn's schools and colleges. We recommend a standardized approach to noncredit course development, following best practices in course design to meet the needs of adult learners. See the Faculty Guide to Noncredit Courses.
OCPE provides centralized support functions to the schools and colleges in the development of noncredit offerings, including instructional design, elearning development and marketing support.
OCPE Support Functions
- Instructional design, elearning development and media production to support course development
- Learning strategist to support course planning, evaluation, and quality assurance
- Closed captioning
- Marketing strategy support, consultation, and planning
- Use of Genius, a centrally supported subscription-based student information system made available by OCPE, for learner registration to HuskyCT without a UConn NetID
- Affiliate role on Genius for school administrative program leads to run learner and course reports
- Central recordkeeping of learner completions by course and college
- Standardized certificates of completion
- Liaison with Office of General Counsel, Procurement, Bursar, Registrar, IT, as needed
OCPE Support for Course Readiness
If faculty is interested in partnering with OCPE to plan and develop a noncredit course, we can help:
- Identify the most appropriate development tool for course offering and audience – such as Blackboard, Articulate, Captivate, or Storyline.
- Plan course learning outcomes
- Build the course with instructional design, support audio and video development, and complete a quality assurance review
- Advise on marketing
- Set-up the course in Genius catalog
- Create a Blackboard course home page
Genius is a front-end student information system of Blackboard. It is used as the registration portal for noncredit professional development courses offered by the University of Connecticut. This allows learners to search and register for a course without a UConn NetID. A Genius course can be hosted on Blackboard.
All professional development courses are promoted through various channels with a link to the UConn catalog page of course offerings on Genius. https://uconn.geniussis.com/Registration.aspx
From this page, learners can search for courses, click on course titles to learn more and choose to enroll in the course. Self-registration is easy. Prospective learners select a course or courses and add it to their cart and then proceed to checkout which takes them to the course registration page. After completing the registration page with name and email, and confirming course selection, learners receive an email with login instructions and a temporary password.
Learners can see all information pertaining to their course enrollments and course completions on the Genius learner dashboard.
How OCPE Supports the Schools and Colleges with Genius Registration
When faculty notifies OCPE they would like a course to be on Genius. The following information is needed.
- What type of course is it?
- Course was built in Blackboard
- One or a series of synchronous webinar sessions
- Course was built in Articulate or Storyline or other similar authoring tool (This will be saved as a SCORM file to upload to HuskyCT)
- A course summary (not to exceed 500 words)
- A course image that leaves the upper left corner blank, as a 300x200 size and submitted as a jpg or png
- The duration (number of weeks) of the course
- The start and end dates
Post Course Launch Support
- Provide Help Desk support re: log-in issues on Genius
- Review Genius Ledger report on learner payments
- Reconcile Genius payments with credit card provider TouchNet
- Submit final income number for payment to school
Non-credit Short Courses
Noncredit short courses and other programs are designed for specific adult-learner target audiences. Courses are designed to meet individual professional development and organizational workforce development needs. Programs will target the continuing education needs of teachers, nurses, engineers, social workers, business professionals, performance artists, allied health and natural resource professionals, health care professionals, pharmacists, and others.
After successfully completing any course or program, learners will receive a certificate of course completion. If completion is of a series of related UConn courses, learners may receive a program-level micro-credential – which is a certificate of completion for a series of noncredit courses.
Partnering with Business and Industry
There may be opportunities for faculty to support or develop targeted skill development programs for business and industry. OCPE will conduct learning needs analyses with private and public sector clients to assess program need, scope, and scale, and to inform discussions with UConn faculty and departments to identify expertise alignment and interest. This will help to determine fit between client needs and faculty resources to identify next steps in program development. Employee workforce development needs will be met through programs that support upskilling, to meet on-the-job demands, or reskilling, to apply current experience and skills in a new capacity.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS)
MOOCS are noncredit courses accessible by a global audience of learners. These courses are offered for a defined period, typically lasting 3-6 weeks in duration, and are provided free to the learner, unless the learner chooses to earn a certificate of completion or micro-credential. These open courses will be offered with UConn’s partner, FutureLearn, a UK based social learning MOOC platform. Partnering with FutureLearn provides UConn an opportunity to showcase and amplify faculty scholarly expertise to a broad global audience of learners. This will help extend UConn’s global presence and academic reputation and broaden awareness of faculty expertise and renown. The goals of UConn MOOC offerings are to:
- Extend UConn’s core academic strengths and areas of academic repute to a global learner audience
- Enhance UConn’s global academic brand in collaboration with UConn Global Affairs and UConn Schools and Colleges
- Provide a convenient platform for faculty to disseminate research broader impacts
- Build interest in UConn graduate degree and credit-bearing certificate degree programs in learners who have enrolled in related noncredit offerings.
- Explore partnership opportunities with other universities for joint programs
MOOC Course Selection Process
The university anticipates developing 4-6 MOOCs per year. This is an opportunity to showcase UConn’s research and areas of expertise. These topic areas should also align with FutureLearn’s course needs and learners’ interest. The selection process for MOOC course development will be based on:
- Alignment with core areas of UConn’s academic plan
- Potential to increase interest and demand in related credit bearing UConn programs
- Potential to enhance UConn’s global academic brand and reputation
- The needs of FutureLearn’s learner population based on their extent research