Penn State Continuing Education appoints new director

Paula Hogard will lead efforts to expand access to higher education for adult learners in 10 counties in central Pennsylvania

Paula Hogard, a higher educational professional with a history of working to improve opportunities for adult learners, has joined Penn State as director of Continuing Education.

In her new role, she will guide the future direction and growth of Penn State's unit devoted to providing educational programming to adults and organizations in the 10-county region surrounding University Park campus. As the director of Continuing Education, Hogard will build partnerships with business and community organizations to identify educational solutions for economic and workforce development needs. Her leadership responsibilities also include oversight of the Penn State Learning Centers in Lewistown, Pa., and Williamsport, Pa., the Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, select international programs delivered through Continuing Education and off-site programs.

"Paula Hogard brings a wealth of experience in leadership and management, program development, marketing and recruitment to this position," said Wayne Smutz, executive director of Penn State World Campus and associate vice president for Academic Outreach.

A native of Great Britain, Hogard is an adult learner herself. She enrolled in college after a career as a registered nurse and currently is pursuing a doctoral degree from Edinburgh University.

Hogard pointed to several national trends influencing higher education today. "More adults are coming back to school to complete a degree begun earlier or to prepare for a new career, and adults with a degree are looking for credit-based certificate programs to help them in their current job," she said. For Generation Y — the more than 70 million Americans born between 1977 and 2002 — education is important, but they don't want to go into debt to achieve it. There also is growing interest in blended programs — courses that combine face-to-face and online instruction. And some baby boomers are exploring second careers, rather than retiring.

Hogard’s goal: "To provide the programs and courses adults want and need and to make it as convenient as possible for them. It's important for adults to see education as an investment in themselves."

Before joining Penn State, Hogard served in the University of Tulsa's Division of Continuing Education for 11 years, most recently as dean of Lifelong Learning. Previously, she was deputy director of the Henry Fielding Center at the University of Manchester.

She is past president and consultant on credit program development for the Learning Resources Network, a board member of the Association of Continuing Higher Education and member of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education and the American Educational Research Association. Hogard earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Surrey University and University of Manchester, respectively.

To learn more about Continuing Education, visit http://ceup.psu.edu/ online.
 

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Last Updated March 21, 2011