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School of Engineering creates new center for professional development

STANFORD -- The Stanford School of Engineering has established a new organization -- the Stanford Center for Professional Development -- that will serve as a single-source provider of continuing education programs for technical professionals in industry and government.

SCPD offers non-credit short courses, workshops, conferences, executive education programs, needs assessment and custom educational programming utilizing a variety of cutting-edge instructional technologies. It also provides access to professional video production, multimedia and transmission services for educational and informational communications.

The core of the new center is the Stanford Instructional Television Network, which has extended Stanford graduate engineering courses to industry for more than 26 years via broadcast, videotape and two-way video. SITN will continue to offer existing programs and, in addition, has gained additional resources to develop new programs that better address the changing needs of its market.

"The programs offered through SCPD are designed to keep technical professionals at the leading edge of their specialties and fulfill the School of Engineering's commitment to help industry address issues of competitiveness, productivity and career development," said Andy DiPaolo, the associate dean of engineering who directs the new center.

In addition, the Stanford Center for Professional Development will provide industry professionals with a convenient access point to Stanford's engineering faculty and programs.

"Our faculty have strong interests in interacting with industry, and the continuing education programs and products offered through this new center will not only help working engineers maintain their technical vitality but also be used to enhance the educational experience for our on- campus students," said James F. Gibbons, dean of the School of Engineering.

The organization will continue to provide full graduate level engineering, computer science and technical management courses by broadcast television and videocassette and will continue broadcasting non-credit short courses from Stanford, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Public Broadcasting Service/Adult Learning Satellite Service, National Technological University and other sources.

In addition, SCPD will venture into new areas, including needs assessment and coordination of instructional development, contract media development, and delivery of educational and training programs using multimedia, videotape, videoconferencing, and satellite and fiber-optic delivery.

For example, SITN recently completed an interactive multimedia program to train thousands of staff at more than 900 Stanford laboratories on how to handle hazardous wastes. (See Campus Report, Jan. 11, p. 9.) The program was developed based on an evaluation of needs carried out with the customer. A custom product was then created to address those specific needs and packaged as a CD-ROM, a format that is particularly well suited to mass training programs because it can be used at locations and times convenient to the students.

"The fast pace of change in the technological world has put pressure on engineers, computer scientists and managers to continually develop their technical vitality. The demands of today's workplace require creative methods for continuing education to be accessed and delivered in a timely and focused manner, which we can now provide," DiPaolo said.

More information about the Stanford Center for Professional Development is available on the World Wide Web at the address:



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