Leaders in Online and Professional Continuing Education

PCO Leader Certificate Program

Explore leadership within higher education at a new level by focusing on how to responsibly manage people, data, and ideas with the PCO Leader courses. Participants will learn how PCO leaders identify and explore opportunities in collaboration with campus colleagues and other professionals in the field.

Hear what past participants have to say!

Upon successful completion of each course, participants will be awarded an UPCEA-backed badge. Courses can be taken individually and in any order. Each course is four weeks long. Complete all five Leader courses successfully and receive the Leader Certificate. 

  • Next cohort begins August 2023
  • Application deadline: June 30, 2023
  • Program Cost: UPCEA Members: $1990; Non-members: $2,990



Leading with Diplomacy, Data, and Drive: the Unique Imperative of the Professional, Continuing, and Online Leader

Faculty: Dr. Kelly Otter, Dean, School of Continuing Studies at Georgetown University

What are the characteristics that produce success among professional, continuing, and online leaders? Effective leaders develop evolving strategies, negotiate often treacherous political mazes, oversee a variety of contributors in their organization, and constantly seek  evidence for action -- all in the pursuit of integrity and success. This course focuses on the key elements of leadership -- responsibly managing people, data, and ideas. 

The Role of Educator: Expanding Academic Horizons

Faculty: Dr. Pamela Wimbush, Associate Dean, Program Operations and Support at California State University, Sacramento

How do leaders in professional, continuing, and online education work within the values, mission, and constraints of the modern university to expand the academic portfolio and reach of their institutions? This course focuses on how leaders identify and explore opportunities in the context of, and through collaboration with, those throughout their universities.  Unlike other academic leaders, the PCO leader is often less independent and shares educational programs and faculty with other schools within their universities -- so key partnerships are internal. The PCO leader educates and enlists colleagues on future possibilities.

The Role of  Ambassador: Connecting Academic and Real Worlds by Engaging Those in Business, Community, and Government

Faculty: Dr. Tonya Amankwatia, Assistant Vice Provost of Distance Education and Extended Learning at North Carolina A&T State University

How do leaders in professional, continuing, and online education engage those beyond their institutions -- in corporations, government, professional associations, and community -- as partners and stakeholders? This course explores the range of models for external partnerships as ways of exploring and securing new opportunities and markets. Unlike other academic leaders, the PCO leader engages a wide array of industries and sectors in a variety of ways.

The Role of Innovator: Managing An Adaptive, Agile Organization

Faculty: Dr. Roxanne Gonzales, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at New Mexico Highlands University

How do professional, continuing, and online educators create and sustain a vibrant organization, with talented and motivated staff, working in unison towards common goals? This course will focus on organizing a dynamic workforce -- since no leaders can be successful apart from their team. This course will explore resource management in the context of ongoing innovation.

The Responsible Professional: Managing Through Transparency, Integrity, Quality, and Accountability

Faculty: Dr. Richard Novak, Vice President, Continuing Studies & Distance Education at Rutgers the State University of New Jersey

How do professional, continuing, and online educators pursue excellence and success? This course explores the ethical challenges, and often difficult choices, that emerge in balancing competing objectives.