School for Professional and Continuing Education

In May 2006, Lewis University established the School for Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) to expand its academic programs, services, and outreach initiatives to meet the needs of adults. Prior to the School, the Lewis University Career Education Program (LUCEP) was first established in the fall of 1990 to offer an accelerated undergraduate degree program in business administration for working adults. Through the ‘90s, additional accelerated programs were developed at Lewis and delivered through LUCEP which later became the Center for Professional Education and Outreach Initiatives (CPEOI).

In collaboration with the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Nursing and Health Professions, accelerated undergraduate and graduate degrees are delivered through the SPCE at Lewis’ Romeoville campus; five regional sites; more than 20 cohort sites in area businesses, hospitals, and nonprofits; and courses are also delivered in online and blended formats via the Internet. The SPCE also offers certificate programs, seminars, and customized training in a variety of formats to meet the unique needs of adults seeking professional education, certification, and lifelong learning. In its location on the third floor of the Brother Paul French, FSC, Learning Resource Center at the main campus in Romeoville, the SPCE hosts the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) regional office for serving Will, Kendall, and southern Cook counties.

In establishing the new School for Professional and Continuing Education, two advisory committees were formed which are the Academic Advisory Committee and the Adult Services Advisory Committee. The Academic Advisory Committee is comprised of two faculty representatives from each of the four Colleges as selected by the faculty of each respective College. Members of the Adult Services Advisory Committee include faculty and staff representing the four Colleges, Graduate and Adult Admission, the Regional Campuses, the Leckrone Academic Resource Center, the Office of the Provost, and the SPCE. The SPCE staff includes academic advisors and administrative staff who provide personalized and responsive advising, support services, and resources to enhance the academic success of adult students. A close working relationship exists between SPCE personnel and the staff of the Office of Graduate and Adult Admission to serve adults applying for admission to accelerated degree programs.

Mission Statement and Goals

The Mission of the Lewis University School for Professional and Continuing Education is to provide quality, innovative, and relevant learning opportunities for adults with diverse backgrounds who seek professional and personal growth. Inspired by Lewis University’s Catholic and Lasallian Mission and heritage, the School emphasizes the application and integration of knowledge, skills, ethics, and values to help adults become lifelong learners, effective problem-solvers, and leaders in their communities.

To accomplish this mission, the School for Professional and Continuing Education will:

Offer high quality academic degree programs, certificate programs, seminars, and customized training in a variety of delivery formats to meet the unique needs of adult students individually and in group settings.

Serve as an advocate and provide support for all adult students enrolled in Lewis University programs at any site where the institution provides teaching and learning opportunities.

Provide personalized and responsive advising, support services and resources to enhance the academic success of adult students.

Seek ways to improve access and convenience to higher education for adults relative to time, place, cost, and tradition.

Promote coordination among all academic and service units of the University to effectively and efficiently serve the educational needs of adult students enrolled at Lewis.

Support the continued professional development, creativity, and innovation of faculty and staff who serve adult students.

Develop partnerships with educational institutions, businesses, governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, and communities which are congruent with the missions of the School and the University.

Course Modules/Blackboard

All SPCE classes utilize a module which outlines course expectations. SPCE students may access their module via the computer using Blackboard, which is Lewis’ online course management system. Modules help students prepare for their first class session assignment for all SPCE courses. The module also informs students of textbooks required for the course.

Academic Skill Enhancement Workshops for Adult Students

Academic support workshops are offered at no cost to all currently enrolled adult students (i.e., 24 years of age and older) in graduate and undergraduate degree programs. New and continuing adult students will have the opportunity to receive specialized instruction in math, writing, and reading that is relevant to the courses associated with their program of study. Additional workshops will also be offered on study skills, ways to navigate technology such as Blackboard, and resources available through the Library. The workshops are offered in a noncredit format and are available at various times appropriate for adult student schedules. In some cases, additional resource information will be available on Blackboard. Contact the School for Professional and Continuing Education or the Leckrone Academic Resource Center (LARC) for more information.