York adult learners earn first certificates through VLN

Dayna Hayes, Rodney Crawford and Paul Will had no idea they would make history when they decided to enroll in the Business Essentials for Professionals Certificate Program at Penn State York. The three adult learners are the first students in the Penn State system to earn the certificate though the Video Learning Network (VLN). They received their certificates Tuesday, July 26, in a ceremony during the campus’ Adult Learner Open House. Joseph P. McCormick, II, director of Academic Affairs at Penn State York and Rosemarie Piccioni, director of Penn State’s Video Learning Network, made remarks and took part in awarding the certificates.

Hayes, 39, of Manchester Township; Crawford, 50, of Hanover; and Will, 35, of Columbia, Lancaster County; enrolled in the 12-credit certificate program that began last fall throughout the Penn State system.

"The VLN technology provides the ability to network learners in geographically separated locations and connects the students in a rich learning experience through natural real-time interaction," said Jeff Warner, director of continuing education at Penn State York and an instructor in the VLN. Warner also is coordinating the VLN program at York.

“The certificates are milestones, and you can build a degree with them,” said Warner.  “Certificates can be applied towards an associate or bachelor’s degree in business or stand alone as an additional credential to a resume.”

Most courses in the VLN are offered in an accelerated seven-week format and are taught in a convenient format combining face-to-face sessions with video conferences and online instruction by Penn State instructors. The VLN was created by the Penn State World Campus as a way to give adult learners easy access to a Penn State degree.

Hayes, a coding operator at Adhesive Research in Glen Rock, Pa., hopes to earn a bachelor’s degree in business. She used her company’s employment reimbursement program to enroll in the Penn State program.  Hayes was pleased that Bill Hoff, a supervisor at Adhesives Research, and Jim Waller, the company’s manager of training and development, attended the ceremony to demonstrate their support.  Both men noted that they were impressed with Hayes’ determination to complete the certificate program and her goal to eventually earn a degree.

Crawford, a construction project manager for Kaliber Construction in Columbia, Md., plans to pursue an associate degree in business administration. Crawford was unemployed when he started the program and now hopes to continue to grow his business knowledge and achieve a higher position on his job.

Will, who owns his own business, plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in finance and use what he has learned to make better financial decisions. His next step is to take the Advanced Business certificate.

Penn State's Business Essentials for Professionals certificate is composed of a series of credit classes that can provide students with a solid foundation in essential business concepts such as communication, sales, marketing, and information systems. The courses selected for this certificate were put together by Warner.

VLN classrooms are equipped with high-definition viewing screens, document cameras and other technologies for live interaction among faculty and students at the course origination site and up to three other sites.

In addition to the Business Essentials for Professionals, other certificates offered though the VLN are Nursing Management and Counseling Youth at Risk. For more information, visit http://www.ce.yk.psu.edu/, email YorkCE@psu.edu or contact Jeff Warner at 717-771-4105. To learn more about the variety of programs at Penn State York, visit the website at www.yk.psu.edu. Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/PennStateYork or on twitter at twitter.com/PennStateYork.

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Last Updated July 28, 2011