Access, Innovation, Engagement: A Century of Reinventing Higher Education
We made it! In what must be an amazing feat of endurance unforeseen at its inception, UPCEA has lasted for 100 years. Not just lasted, but developed, adapted, expanded, innovated, inspired and led by example. From its early days of supporting the leaders of university extension, UPCEA has transitioned to support a vibrant network of professionals engaged in all dimensions of professional, continuing education and online education. The professional development opportunities provided by UPCEA have been refined to optimally respond to all of these dimensions, and the 2015 Conference is no exception.
The 100th Conference theme celebrates these dimensions of UPCEA in its name: Access, Innovation, Engagement: A Century of Reinventing Higher Education. Embedded in this title are the dimensions of looking back and looking forward that are the foundational elements of the 2015 Conference. While this year’s conference builds upon the same standard of excellence of all preceding conferences, it also celebrates all that has been accomplished by the profession and its association over the past 100 years. And we don’t stop there. No, this conference boldly tackles the challenges facing higher education in this time of complexity and change, demand for greater access and affordability, and an unprecedented impact of technology on teaching, learning and administration.
Given this robust context, the 2015 conference could not be more timely. Never before has the mission of UPCEA—serving adult students with quality continuing, professional, and online programs—been more vital to the future of higher education. As incubators for innovative programming, instructional methods and delivery modes, we are leading our universities through daunting changes in the landscape of higher education. The 100th Conference brings together some of the biggest names and brightest stars today to guide us, challenge us, inspire us and walk with us, as together we continue to forge a path of access, innovation and engagement. We hope you agree that this conference does justice to our 100th anniversary, in both content and format.
Washington, D.C. is the perfect location for this conference, in all of its complexity, rich history, diversity, cultural resources and political impact on educational policy. Our 100th conference takes advantage of all of these elements. We welcome you to Washington, D.C., home of UPCEA, and of our Centennial Conference. We urge you to fully engage in this conference. Be challenged. Be inspired. And most of all, together let’s recommit to our common purpose of reinventing higher education for the 21st century.
With our best wishes,