New School for Continuing Studies

Kaeleah Isaac, Reporter

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California Lutheran University is creating a new school for Continuing Studies and Bachelor’s Degrees for Professionals to accommodate more students and make higher education more accessible. 

The new School for Professional and Continuing Studies opened its doors in January 2020, and has become a new learning place for non-traditional undergraduate students. 

The formal inauguration of the new School for Professional and Continuing Studies will take place on Feb. 21. 

The school houses the Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals program, the Center for Nonprofit Leadership and the new Center for Lifelong Learning, which will also house the Fifty and Better program.  

“The Fifty and Better program is designed for members of the community who are 50 years of age and older and who want to continue learning just for the joy of learning and social engagement,” Dean of the School for Professional and Continuing Studies Lisa Buono said.

Director of the Professional and Continuing Studies program Jessica Waddell said she thinks it is important to offer opportunities to the community.

“The new school brings together two areas already in existence, and adds the new Center for Lifelong Learning,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Leanne Neilson said. “It will allow us to provide more offerings to the community, and will provide infrastructure to support continuing education courses that are currently being offered in various areas on campus.” 

The inauguration will feature a traditional ribbon cutting to symbolize the new chapter of this school, as well as speeches from former graduates and people who work closely within the new school. Mayor of Thousand Oaks Al Adam will also be at the ceremony, along with other dignitaries such as Jacqui Irwin who represents the 44th Assembly District. 

Since the opening of the school, it has become a more diverse population racially, ethnically and socio-economically on the Cal Lutheran campus, with over 64% identifying as non-white, Buono said. 

“We are currently laying down the groundwork and exploring for a new Health Care Management major, and our goal is to get that off the ground for fall 2021,” Buono added. 

The school currently has about 300 students, and classes are offered in fall, winter, spring and summer terms. The classes are typically Monday through Thursday nights, 6-9:30 p.m. However, with the addition of the new school, there is a possibility for a new format of classes being available. 

“We are looking into weekend intensive courses, which will open the door for folks who can’t pursue a degree during the morning or evening,” Waddell said. “I think it will also open up the flexibility for our current students who might have some time on the weekends.”