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Continuing Education Awarded “Project of the Year” for Extraordinary Contributions to Student and Institutional Success by the California Research and Planning (RP) Group

April 6, 2018

On Thursday, April 12 The RP Group will honor San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE), the largest provider of noncredit education in California, with the 2018 Research and Planning Group Project of the Year Award at the 2018 RP Conference in Long Beach.

The two-day conference is the largest gathering of institutional researchers and planners in the California Community College system.  Michelle Fischthal & Jessica Luedtke

The 2018 Project of the Year Award will recognize The Past, Present and Future of Noncredit Education in California Community Colleges, a research report co-authored by SDCE President Carlos O. Turner Cortez, Ph.D., SDCE Vice President Michelle Fischthal and SDCE Acting Dean of Institutional Effectiveness Jessica Luedtke.
The findings in the research aim to inform state enhancements in support of noncredit program growth.

“Each year, the RP Group recognizes colleagues and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to student and institutional success through community college research, planning, and institutional effectiveness efforts,” RP Group announced in March.

“We are very pleased. This is a real turning point for noncredit,” said Luedtke. “This research is becoming more important than ever with the foreseeable growth in noncredit across the state.”

Fischthal and Luedtke will also lead an Institutional Effectiveness & Integrated Planning Breakout Session with conference goers on Thursday, April 12 at 1:20pm to 2:35pm.

“The Past, Present and Future of Noncredit Education in California Community Colleges surveyed all 114 community colleges in the state and two large noncredit divisions, explained Luedtke. “If plans hold, the number of institutions offering noncredit career technical education should more than double in the next two years and the numbers of institutions who offer English as a Second Language, Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary Education and Emeritus are expected to grow as well.”

The report was honored with the Mertes Award in 2017 for Excellence in Community College Research by the Association of California Community College Administrators.


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San Diego Continuing Education is the adult education division of the San Diego Community College District. It was one of the first community college continuing education institutions in California to meet the standards for independent accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Approximately 40,000 students are served per academic year at seven campuses in San Diego. Noncredit classes and career training are available at no cost, including online options.
Classes are free because San Diego Continuing Education is part of the California system of higher education. Funding also comes through business and industry partnerships.

Allura Garis