The theme of the 2016 UPCEA Mid-Atlantic conference is “Scanning the Horizon: Opportunities for Discovery in Continuing, Professional, and Online Education”, reflecting the challenges faced by contemporary continuing, professional, and online education units as we seek to innovate and grow. As we look inward to determine how best to develop the next generations of leaders in higher education, we also look outward to explore how we can best serve our communities and stakeholders in the face of continued economic, political, social, and cultural pressures. The 2016 Mid-Atlantic regional conference is designed to provide practical models for success as continuing, professional, and online education units scan the horizon for new opportunities to innovate, develop, and grow, as we also learn from our past experiences. Presentations are geared towards individuals in leadership, operations, and student services roles and are aligned with UPCEA’s networks. The conference theme also reflects the role that UPCEA is playing on regional and national levels, serving as advocates for quality, innovation, leadership, professional development, research, and benchmarking in continuing, professional, and online education.
The conference will also launch the fourth cohort of the Mid-Atlantic region’s Emerging Leaders Program. This year-long program begins with a pre-conference workshop at the 2016 conference, continues with a year-long collaborative cohort project, and culminates with a presentation at the 2017 Mid-Atlantic conference. These activities provide participants with the opportunity to collaboratively explore the theory and practice of continuing education leadership with peers from across the Mid-Atlantic region. The program is designed to prepare the next generation of the region’s leaders.
This year’s theme also reflects the many ways in which Annapolis and the 2016 host institution, the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) (www.umuc.edu), have discovered opportunities to innovate and lead. Annapolis has a rich tradition in leadership and service, represented by the history of the US Naval Academy. From 1649, when its earliest settlers, English Puritans, settled on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay in search of religious freedom, to the 1700s, when the renamed settlement Annapolis became a cultural center in the Colonies, the residents of Annapolis have sought out new ways to sail, think, explore, live. The rich tradition of seafaring in Annapolis relates to our interest in navigating a challenging present to sail into a more promising future. In many ways, our host university UMUC has done exactly this, providing educational opportunities for students from across the globe for the past 65 years, including strong online programs with a complete range of student services available. UMUC has a strong tradition of serving the needs of military students, veterans, and their families, as it has also prepared students to work in new careers, identified new employment trends and met the economic needs of regional, national, and international communities. We invite you to join us in vibrant Annapolis, as we scan the horizon to discover new opportunities to meet 21st century-challenges in continuing, professional and online education.
We hope to see you in Annapolis!
With all best wishes,
Kristine Rabberman, University of Pennsylvania
Chair, 2016 UPCEA Mid-Atlantic Region Conference