The past year brought a myriad of challenges both collective and personal for us at Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE) as well as to our many learners and stakeholders. At the same time, I’ve been so encouraged by the incredible perseverance and resilience shown by our faculty and staff and students. As the Institute’s global campus and lifetime learning arm, GTPE has been proud to leverage our expertise in online and distance learning to support faculty across Georgia Tech during their transition to full-time remote delivery due to Covid-19. Our long history with online education was pivotal in helping others adapt and preserve academic excellence during an unprecedented global health crisis.
We also remained persistent in our goal of defining and elevating the importance of lifetime education.
Given the uncertain landscape, our continued thought leadership about the impact of online education, now and in preparation for a future that is coming faster than any of us could have predicted, has been particularly timely.
We have also witnessed a steadfast pursuit of advancement from the working professionals and adult learners we serve. Some were online learning veterans, while others were new to remote and virtual learning, but all were forced to balance the upheaval in their personal and professional lives with the demands of earning a degree or other credential in order to accomplish their goals.
And while there are many challenges still facing us as we move into 2021, I am inspired by the work we have done to reimagine a GTPE of the future - an organization that is Digital First and perpetually evolving to support the educational needs of a global workforce through innovation, accessibility, and lifetime education.
Dean, Professional Education
GTPE is the Institute’s global campus and lifetime education arm, providing continuing education for more than a century and learning at a distance for over 40 years.
An essential part of our mission is to deliver high-quality, in-demand programs to advance careers and address workforce needs. GTPE offers more than 600 courses and bootcamps, 63 professional and graduate certificate programs, and 13 online degree programs in tech, business, and industry-specific subject matter to meet the needs of working professionals and industry partners.
Our programs are designed to directly address industry skill and knowledge gaps, while providing working professionals with practical, readily applicable solutions. For employers seeking to provide forward-thinking professional education to their employees, we provide ongoing and customized training, which helps to attract and retain top talent as well as keep employees' skills current and relevant in quickly changing markets.
From flexible learning options to personalized online environments, we strive to meet the demands and needs of our learners in a rapidly changing world. By continuously improving all aspects of learners' interactions and experiences, we provide programs designed to meet industry needs while providing a global destination for lifelong learning, both online and in the classroom.
Over a short period of time, Covid-19 changed the way we worked, lived, and learned. While it altered our capability to serve our learners face-to-face, it also renewed our intrinsic value of putting people first, and we found new ways to meet our learners’ needs.
By supporting safe learning and event options, revamping our facilities, and delivering meaningful virtual service offerings, we've refashioned ourselves for more and better lifelong learning experiences.
In 2020, more than 129,000 career-driven professionals benefited from world-class STEM programs designed to deliver the knowledge and skills that professionals need for every stage of their career. However, only 11% of our learner demographic were represented by women. As a nod to International Women's Day, we launched Celebrating Women in STEM to celebrate the contributions of our women learners and faculty members, while emphasizing GTPE as a champion for inclusivity.
As a unit with a direct connection to the business community and its workforce, GTPE is uniquely positioned to serve the lifetime education needs of a global community, amplifying impact and expanding access to the Institute. This vantage point at the intersection between campus and industry also supports key business relationships and provides valuable insights for the strategic benefit of the Institute.
Through research and development, strategic partnerships, and cutting-edge programming, we extend our reach beyond the classroom to support the economic development of the state of Georgia. Whether it’s veterans transitioning to civilian life; business leaders and executives looking to hone their leadership skills; or K-12 students seeking preparation in STEAM, we provide the high-level education needed to help the local workforce envision, explore, and plan for the future of work.
At GTPE, we have a long history of thought leadership that challenges previously established norms and promotes proactive strategies for higher education. We blend our roots in research and technology with grounded pedagogical principles to champion educational innovation. From degrees-at-scale to online education and alternative credentials, we have a reputation as a driver of change.
Our work promotes the effectiveness of online delivery in expanding access and reiterates the importance of market driven educational options that are in sync with career realities and meet the needs of a global workforce. With increasing volatility through technological and generational change, it is more important than ever that education is adaptable enough to support the dynamic nature of one’s needs throughout a lifetime.
Here are many of the ways we created new knowledge and shared it with our learners, partners, and peers over the past year.
As the lifelong learning arm of the Institute, we take intellectual curiosity seriously. While the staff at GTPE are among the best in their areas of expertise, evolution and growth are baked into our culture. Whether it means tackling a new skill or taking on a leadership role, our commitment to support the advancement and professional improvement of our staff runs deep.
We value the discovery of new ideas, and we know that collaboration and a variety of perspectives are essential to fostering ingenuity. Our teams demonstrate their dedication to sustaining innovation through effective cross-team initiatives and resourceful problem-solving.
From institutional leadership to industry awards, here are some examples of how the GTPE staff have advanced our mission of lifetime education over the past year.
GOLD - Interactive Media Campaign, Poster
SILVER – Mixed Media Campaign, Most Improved, Trade Show Exhibit, Website
BRONZE – Print Publications, Print Ad Campaign