In December 2014, the decision was made to change the name of the twenty-year-old program. Formerly known as Extension Education, it is now called Continuing Education and Professional Development (CEPD). The name change came with new goals for its future.
Continuing Education and Professional Development is a graduate level distance-learning program for K–12 educators. The online and video correspondence courses are designed by Drake University and partnering education organizations. It was originally designed for educators in Iowa. Throughout the years, it has grown nationally, offering these courses to educators across the country. Students have come from New Jersey and Ohio.
The CEPD provides graduate credit for K-12 educators to advance on the salary scale or renew a teacher’s license. Many courses may be used as elective credits toward graduate degrees with advisor approval. The program offers a wide range of classes, such as classroom management, differentiated instruction, physical education, and athletic coaching. Drake is recognized as being one of the only continuing education programs to offer exceptional distance-learning courses in physical education and coaching.
Frank Bifulco, a health and physical education teacher and varsity baseball coach in New Jersey, said he had a hard time finding other extension education opportunities.
“The courses are a great refresher and are very in-depth,” said Bifulco. “I am able to do the course work on my own time. Meanwhile, I’m getting new ideas for coaching and physical education.”
The Professional Development part of the name change complements the School of Education’s vision to better serve the Drake campus by developing online courses and assisting in professional development events on campus. Charles Sengstock, director of CEPD welcomes the opportunity to work with various colleges, schools and departments as needed, incorporating their technology capabilities related to online development and web based course registration. There is also an in-house online instructional designer to help others develop courses for continuing education.
The program was honored in 2012 with the Best Practices in Distance Learning Programming award from the United States Distance Learning Association for its course “Anti-Bullying: Where to Start.”
“When we developed the anti-bullying course, we wanted to make sure it made a difference,” said Sengstock. “This course was created to be meaningful. What’s interesting about the bullying course is that we were on the front end of anti-bullying movement. Since the introduction of our course a lot of other courses and initiatives have been developed to continue the teaching of bullying prevention within schools”
Sengstock is happy with the name transition and being able to provide teachers with quality graduate courses. So far, Sengstock has seen positive feedback on the program reflected in course evaluations.