Friday, October 9, 2015

Viking Voices - School of Continuing and Professional Studies

According to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "The average person born in the latter years of the baby boom (1957-1964) held 11.7 jobs from age 18 to age 48." For those of us born between 1977-1997 Forbes states, "Job Hopping Is the 'New Normal'," and that ninety-one percent, "expect to stay in a job for less than three years."
Original image courtesy of the Wall Street Journal

From the accelerating impacts of Globalization, to the ways in which Artificial Intelligence is automating away once lucrative professions, to the impact of robots displacing not only repetitive physical tasks now work requiring cleverness, and to the changing nature of the workplace it is imperative that we each keep our skills fresh. In this latest in this series of conversations describing resources available to our Salem State alumni community that help us in our careers and businesses I'd like open discussion on another valuable alumni benefit, the Salem State School of Continuing and Professional Studies

The realities that a modern career is defined by serial positions and the very real threat that many jobs will be eliminated for any number of reasons force us to ask of ourselves serious questions. The most important of which is, "How do we insure that we have the skills to remain marketable as waves of change sweep the economy and workplace?" 

The Salem State School of Continuing and Professional Studies is a key resource that can help in our ability to keep pace. Led by Dean Mary Churchill, "The school is home to part-time and off-campus undergraduate programs, Salem State Online, Summer at Salem State, and the Center for International Education." 

For many of us it may not be possible to travel to campus to take classes. Some of us may not find the online mode of study suitable to our learning styles. The good news is that Salem State is today a global institutionIn addition to the ability for alumni to take classes online, the school offers evening classes, "at local satellite locations in Winchester, Lawrence, Lynn, and Malden." The global reach of the Salem State School of Continuing and Professional Studies includes the Viking Global Bridge international program for undergraduate students that includes studies, "offered globally in locations as diverse as Costa Rica, Sarajevo, Liberia, Italy, and China."

Through the School of Continuing and Professional Studies we alumni can keep our skills fresh by earning online certificates, taking over 600 short-term online courses, working towards part-time undergraduate, and bachelor degree completion. There are also available a growing number of non-credit professional education programs

As an example apropos to the topic of these conversations is a non-credit program that took place this past September. The 3-session workshopChange is Good: Your Success Depends On It!, featured John King, president of Headway Strategies Consulting, and Mark Connolly, an independent consultant.

Another hallmark of the Salem State School of Continuing and Professional Studies is that the department works closely with other entities on campus and beyond. Recent partnerships include close collaboration with the Enterprise Center and with the Salem State World Languages Department. In the Summer of 2016 students will travel to Heredia, Costa Rica, for a three week Spanish language immersion. 

I hope that you find these topics helpful to inform you of the continuing benefits that Salem State provides to our alumni community. I hope that you will participate in this conversation. Next week will be another Viking Voices as we  discuss yet another great Salem State resource.

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