University of Cincinnati introduces College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies

New college established to better serve students, including adult learners, industry partners

On December 14, during a University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees meeting, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Valerio Ferme, PhD, met with board members who affirmed the decision to establish the College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies, effective January 1, 2023.

The new college combines and expands the work of the division of Experience-Based Learning and Career Education (formerly ELCE) and the former Office of Professional and Continuing Education, which includes the Cincinnati Talent Accelerator Program (CTAP), Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), and Communiversity. 

Building on our reputation as the #1 public university for co-ops and internships (U.S. News & World Reports, 2023), the University of Cincinnati’s College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies will continue to collaborate with industry and collegiate partners to create and deliver co-op and experiential learning opportunities for students.  At the same time, the College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies will expand its mission to serve adult learners who are interested in pursuing career advancement, as well as corporate and non-profit partners seeking to upskill or reskill their existing workforce. 

New programs will include the recently approved online Bachelor of Arts in Professional Studies which seeks to provide a path to degrees for adults who have numerous years of full-time work experience. Additionally, the College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies will collaborate closely with all University of Cincinnati colleges, serving as a centralized coordinating and administrative hub for workforce development, continuing education, and life-long learning courses and programs, including micro-credentials. 

“We want UC to be the place adult learners go when they are seeking all levels of educational opportunity and career advancement. We want corporations and non-profits to see UC as a key partner in developing their workforce and organizations. And we want to do so in a very coordinated way, through support and collaboration with all UC colleges, the Cincinnati Innovation District, and other valued stakeholders,” said Michelle Clare, interim dean, College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies.

In determining the name of the new college, benchmarking of names at peer institutions was conducted and suggestions from key stakeholders were solicited. Faculty, staff, students, employers, and alumni voted on the new name for the college, which was ultimately approved by the Board of Trustees.

A national search to identify the founding dean of the College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies began this fall. The search committee hopes to invite finalist candidates to campus during the 2023 spring semester.

Featured photo at top onsite at 84.51˚. Photo Lisa Ventre/UC Marketing + Brand.

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