Continuing Education extends arm to local communities

Two new UMass Dartmouth administrators say the school can be a powerful partner with local businesses, both large and small.

Two new UMass Dartmouth administrators say the school can be a powerful partner with local businesses, both large and small. 

That is the message Dr. Susan Lane, newly appointed associate vice chancellor for the Division of Continuing Education, and Dr. Antone C..Vieira Jr., executive director for the division’s new Corporate Programs and Partnerships, hope to spread throughout southeastern Massachusetts and beyond. 

Dr. Lane described the recently created Corporate Programs and Partnerships piece as an arm of the university poised to reach out and develop alliances of support, while Dr. Vieira said that the university’s outreach efforts will benefit local industries such as agriculture and fishing, by providing expanded access to faculty, research centers, and laboratories. 

As far as this team is concerned, the sky’s the limit. 

Vieira envisions partnerships ranging from providing needs assessments and training to cranberry bog growers through the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership, and supplying employee education for healthcare workers at Southcoast Hospitals Inc., to offering support for high tech manufacturing in the semiconductor industry. 

He said that training and educational opportunities will be available for everyone from retirees looking to enhance their organizational skills to individuals who have changed careers and need to brush up on their computer skills or technology awareness. 

The university, through its colleges and centers, can help folks set up business plans or whatever they need by customizing courses. We’re going to ask people what they need and listen and respond accordingly, Vieira explained. 

Our goal is to aid in the development of a highly skilled workforce, Vieira said, as well as to provide lifelong learning opportunities to the people of southeastern Massachusetts. 

In addition to customized training, programs will be offered at undergraduate and graduate levels with certificates for credit and non-credit courses. As an example, a graduate level certificate program in Computer Systems for local Cape Cod businesses will be offered at Barnstable High School with a class in Computer Architecture beginning this fall. 

The day, evening, and weekend courses will operate as traditional campus classroom experiences, or through online web-based interactive video

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conferencing or television instruction. Courses could be conducted at business 
sites as well. 

If necessary, a combination of those delivery modes will be molded to fit the participant’s lifestyle and schedule, he said. For example, a class lecture about a piece of medical equipment could be enhanced by actual viewing of the device in use at a hospital site. Or, information presented in a lecture style class could be built upon through Internet research at home. 

Lane said that the program would also involve partnerships with local K-12 school systems, vocational schools, and Bristol Community College. The program’s educational component includes professional development targeted areas and graduate level classes designed, for example, to allow substitute teacher and teacher aides to earn their teaching certificates while simultaneously working in the field. 

Lane said that Continuing Education’s corporate component is a vehicle to develop a multi faceted connection, between the public and private sectors. Our success will be measured by the awareness our community has to the richness of UMass Dartmouth, she said. 

Both Lane and Vieira began their duties at UMass in July. 

Prior to her appointment, Lane was associate dean and associate professor of education at Lesley University’s School of Education. Previously, she was associate dean of Graduate and Continuing Education at the Massachusetts College of Art. She is an Abington resident. 

Vieira was dean of continuing and professional education at Mass Bay Community College where he developed partnerships with Intel, EMC, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Department of Environmental Protection. He is a Westport resident. 

For more information about Corporate Programs and Partnerships, call (508) 999-8744.

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