Over the summer, Thomas Taylor, professor of History, replaced Elma Moore as Dean of the Wittenberg School of Community Education (SCE). Taylor had already been at Wittenberg for over 20 years as the chair and a faculty member in the History Department and was involved in several campus committees prior to his appointment to this position. In his new role, Taylor hopes to use this experience to bring new initiatives to Wittenberg’s SCE program.
After just a few months in the new position as Dean, Taylor has many goals set for the Wittenberg SCE. This program serves a wide variety of individuals, including older students, high school students, young married students, and veterans. Because of this, Taylor and his team have discussed the development of new programs that will more effectively serve their needs. The Wittenberg SCE plans to introduce a new summer calendar that includes a shorter, four-week term, new degree programs in areas such as Nursing and Criminal Justice, and expansion of the @witt@home evening course format. Currently, Taylor and his team are working to obtain all necessary approvals in hopes that these changes will be implemented by 2013.
“Our goals are straightforward,” said Taylor, “develop new program opportunities for nontraditional students that fit Wittenberg’s mission, that draw on the institution’s strengths, and that serve area needs. The key thing is that the staff is committed to nontraditional students of all sorts.”
Since July, Taylor has met with local businesses to promote the adult education program and to discuss the qualities that employers look for when hiring new workers. After these discussions, Taylor and his team plan to assess the skills that businesses are currently seeking in order to determine their future course of action. The SCE plans to base any new curriculum they introduce on attracting new adult students looking to increase their desirability in the job market.
“I feel [Dr. Taylor] is more connected with a greater understanding of the university’s policies,” said Jennifer Capper, the Administrative Assistant for the Wittenberg SCE. “He has reached out to a number of academic departments to connect with them and discuss new program ideas.”
Despite his own achievements, Taylor insists that he is surrounded by an incredible staff. Taylor expressed a great interest in working together with his team and discussing new program ideas with the people around him. As he talked about the strengths of the Wittenberg SCE, he continually mentioned the staff.
“I like the challenge and like the people,” said Taylor. “It’s a program at Wittenberg with room to grow and an office staff that is up to the challenge. Wittenberg wants to more fully utilize its resources and the SCE is well-positioned to help with that effort.”
As new Dean of the Wittenberg School of Community Education, Taylor hopes to attract new students and develop new resources that will benefit a wider range of nontraditional students. Currently, he and his staff are working to finalize the details in these programs. The Wittenberg SCE plans for the changes to be implemented within 2013.