In FY 2103, The Towson University Continuing & Professional Studies (CPS) embarked upon an evolutionary track for the development and delivery of Professional Certification Courses. We want to live up to the proud tradition of a Towson University education, and align our courses with the core academic mission of the University. Maryland is home to a highly educated workforce, which positions the state to attract private sector firms seeking a highly skilled workforce. A competitive workforce requires constant training and professional upgrades to address critical skill shortages coming as a result of technology and process advances in industry. CPS is committed to building upon foundational education and experience to address these skill gaps.

This past year, we have developed new courses that are delivered both in-class and online. Our Project Management Professional Certification course was developed in blended by Dr. Tobin Porterfield, Chair of our Master’s Program in Supply and Portfolio Management, and Paul Arnest, a practitioner and member of the local Project Management Institute Board. In this blended format we were able to draw upon the talent of our faculty and infuse current trends and topics in a course that will enhance the marketability of our students. We have registered 46 students in just 6 months and will continue to track their progress.

Two years ago we were selected by the Maryland State Department of Education to serve as the IT Academy for Maryland secondary schools. We hired Nancy Null, a veteran of secondary education to help us formulate professional development within the Cisco curriculum. Since that time, we have been selected by Cisco to serve as the regional Academy Support Center and Instructor Training Center: designations that place CPS at the forefront of education within the Cisco field.  From this, we have developed a certification course that prepares students in A+/Network+/CCNA (Certified Cisco Network Administrator), and have held four classes and enrolled students in our fully supported online course, serving 60 students for the year.  We have also developed courses in Professional Human Resources and Entrepreneurship.

Image credit: Desiree Stover

Image credit: Desiree Stover

We have a wide range of students varying in age and career path. The majority of these students are career changers, seeking new opportunities to enhance themselves professionally. We are also proud to provide training to some of our own Towson University staff, looking to enhance their skill set in their existing job. All of our students are important to us, and receive the guidance and support necessary for success in today’s job market.

It has been a big year for CPS in terms of course development and enrollments.  We believe in the value of a Towson education and will continue to identify fields offering our students experience in fields that are designated high growth and high salary.