In 1983, when Cal Lutheran was still a College, the Department of Business and Economics’ “Private/Enterprise” Newsletter announced the formation of a new program: The Adult Degree Evening Program (ADEP). As Cal Lutheran evolved into a University, ADEP evolved too, from offering a degree in one discipline to degrees in seven disciplines. In 2010 the first dedicated, full-time director was hired for ADEP. In 2013 ADEP was rebranded the Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals program, a name that better represented our post-traditional students. And in 2014 two full-time faculty were hired, the first full-time faculty dedicated to the program. Each decade Cal Lutheran’s commitment to our post-traditional students has strengthened.
The evolution continues today as we are very proud to introduce a new school: the School for Professional and Continuing Studies. The school was created to uphold the university’s efforts to not only serve our post-traditional students, but also to reinforce our commitment to the nonprofit sector and develop meaningful opportunities to expand our services to the community. The Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals program, the Center for Nonprofit Leadership, and a new Center for Lifelong Learning are the heart of this new school.
The Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals program offers 8 undergraduate majors, following the same curriculum as the traditional undergraduate program. Courses are offered at three locations (Thousand Oaks, Oxnard, and Woodland Hills) in an accelerated format in the evenings. The Center for Nonprofit Leadership is the one-stop source for excellence in nonprofit leadership development in our region. The Center offers on-going educational workshops, but also mobilizes to address the needs of the sector as can be seen through the establishment and growth of the Nonprofit Resiliency Institute. The Center for Lifelong learning will offer a host of learning opportunities for our community, including our “Fifty and Better” educational programming. Our dedicated team (6 unstoppable staff members and 4 talented full-time faculty members) propel all three areas.
While plans for the School for Professional and Continuing Studies were underway, an influential document, “Rooted and Open: The Common Calling of the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities,” was released. The document focuses on the idea that our students are “Called and empowered, to serve the neighbor, so that all may flourish.” This calling undergirds the School for Professional and Continuing Studies. Our aim is for the students of the Professionals program, the members of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership, and individuals who engage with the Center for Lifelong learning, to further define who they are and use their gifts to serve their community.
Accordingly, the School for Professional and Continuing Studies strives to serve individuals who desire to grow educationally, personally, or professionally. Our work is grounded in the assessment of their needs and expectations. We will meet these individuals where they are and provide tailored programs and resources that will help them clarify and further develop their purpose so that they can transform their communities – and the world.
Welcome to the School for Professional and Continuing Studies.
Lisa L. Buono, Ed.D.
School for Professional and Continuing Studies
California Lutheran University