Awards recognize Penn State Outreach's commitment to helping adult learners expand their horizons
University Park, Pa. — Two Penn State adult learner programs will be honored with national awards, one for exemplary achievement, the other for innovation in outreach and engagement, by the University Continuing Education Association (UCEA). UCEA, the principle organization for continuing higher education in the United States, will present the awards to Penn State Outreach during the association's 93rd annual conference March 26-29 in New Orleans.
"Penn State Outreach is honored to be selected by the UCEA for two national awards," said Craig Weidemann, vice president for Penn State Outreach. "These awards recognize our longstanding commitment to extending the significant academic resources and knowledge of our faculty to our various constituents."
The first award winner for 2007–08 is Penn State's Continuing Education Series for Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) or Board Certified Associate Behavior Analysts (BCABA). This program was selected for an Exemplary Program Award by UCEA's Conferences and Professional Programs Community of Practice. The series provides research-based continuing education modules to behavior analysts across the United States and Canada, who need 30 hours of professional development every two years to maintain licensure. These individuals use Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to work with individuals who have behavioral challenges, including autism, which affects an estimated one in 150 children in America today. Penn State delivers the four courses on DVD with handouts and supplemental readings, enabling students to learn at their convenience.
The second award winner is Penn State's "Exploring the Indigenous Ways of Knowing of the Ojibwe." This survey course, enabling participants to immerse themselves in the Ojibwe culture, was selected for an Innovations in Outreach and Engagement award. Bruce D. Martin, adjunct instructor for Penn State's Interinstitutional Consortium for Indigenous Knowledge, leads the spring course, which includes travel to the Red Lake, Leech Lake and White Earth Nations in northern Minnesota. Martin's upbringing in this region lends him privileged access to many Ojibwe communities. Students participate in presentations by Ojibwe leaders and elders on the history, culture and spiritual values of one of the largest aboriginal communities in North America.
Penn State Outreach is the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education, serving more than 5 million people each year and delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 80 countries worldwide.