Extended Learning Profile

The California State University, Northridge College of Extended Learning (ExL) enrolls more than 20,000 students each year. ExL's distinctive approach to its educational mission has enabled it to extend the University's resources in scholarship and teaching to those who might best benefit in the local, national, and international communities. To accomplish this, ExL builds productive, long-term educational relationships between the University and those it serves. This approach allows the College to reach beyond the confines of traditional educational models and allows for a broad, innovative vision.

For example, ExL regularly works with a wide variety of organizations (corporations, businesses, military and government agencies, schools, cultural and civic groups, communities) to provide a broad spectrum of educational and training programs.

Collaborative Projects

The collaboration may start with informal conversations and evolve into jointly developed plans, background or strategy research and information gathering, project structuring, and project implementation. This kind of partnership can lead to an ongoing relationship with a set of ExL staff who are devoted to working with the organization.

Education and Training

ExL professionals can develop and deliver custom educational programs in a variety of formats, from live seminars at the organization's site to programs available on-demand via educational technology, in any part of the world. ExL addresses the educational and training needs of each organization by drawing upon its extensive connections with researchers, scholars, practicing professionals, and other experts.

Technology Applications Testing

ExL can also design programs to test an organization's products and services. These programs and the strategies that evolve from them can help an organization to explore, early in the development process, the applications of new technology and its effectiveness for the intended audience. ExL specializes in technology products or services with applications in teaching or research, or with relevance to an academic discipline or field within the University.

Advanced Professional Education

In collaboration with the appropriate academic college within the University, ExL offers self-support graduate degree programs and graduate credit certificate programs for the post-degree professional. Programs can be designed in formats that are most convenient for the working professional, and on-site instruction is available if there is a sufficient number of participants or a prior agreement with the organization.

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Business

Professional and business success in today's technology-driven and competitive environment increasingly demands broad preparation in several fields. This is true for fields such as biotechnology and biomedicine, but is also true for the arts and entertainment industry, which now requires at least some knowledge of computer science, marketing, business and finance, engineering, sociology, cultural practices, and history, Since ExL works across academic fields and disciplines, it can readily address this requirement in business education. Also, faculty possess substantial business and technical experience as well as strong academic credentials. This combination of real-world problem-solving and multidisciplinary academic excellence makes the College an ideal partner for business coping with a rapidly-changing marketplace.

Mayerene Barker is Manager, Publications & Communications for the College of Extended Learning at California State University, Northridge.

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