Tag Archives: Los Angeles Times

Encore on “Encore”

The response to our announcement of the UCLA Extension  parternship with Encore Career Institute has been great. Feel free to view some of the press coverage from:

UCLA’s Facebook page
The New York Times
San Francisco Chronicle
Chronicle of Higher Education
Los Angeles Times

I’m interested in your thoughts. What is your dream “encore career”?


Economic Value of Professional Certificates by Dean Cathy Sandeen


I was recently quoted in a story the March 2010 Los Angeles Times education supplement (page 6).   Titled, Small Programs Make Big Paydays, the author clearly got what I have been saying about the value of rigorous and recognized professional certificates. The author cites a study by the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce (GCEW)  that determined certificates are the fastest growing segment of post secondary education and serve as a “significant component of human capital development in many areas of training.”

Our own study of the value of a professional certificate reinforces GCEW’s conclusions. One of my posts from last December, UCLA Extension Provides Real Economic Benefits, addresses this very issue.

UCLA Extension contributes $250 million per year to the Los Angeles county economy, 70% of that in the form of increased earning power by students who complete a program with us. As the Times supplement indicated, that translates into an average individual annual salary increase of over $17,000.

Certificates are linked directly to jobs and are appropriate for individuals who have already completed more traditional degree programs or often for individuals who have not yet completed degrees. UCLA Extension certificate programs span a broad range of subject areas including accounting, entertainment studies, landscape architecture, digital communication arts, sustainability and many others.

 Certificates provide a big impact in a shorter time frame and for less of a financial investment. Many have been approved for funding through the workforce system for eligible displaced or unemployed individuals.

Certificate completion is flexible; complete a program quickly or more slowly depending on your other commitments. Begin almost immediately. You have the opportunity to begin a certificate class or program four times per year with no lengthy application process or waiting period.

 Now is the time for certificate programs to shine. Fortunately, real value for individuals and the workforce is clearly recognized.



How this recession is different by Cathy Sandeen

You did everything right. You worked hard, went to school, and earned your degrees and professional certifications. You interned, networked, interviewed, and got a great job. You built a career in a secure field, earning a good salary along the way. Then the unforeseen happened. The “Great Recession” hit and you found yourself unemployed for the first time. What do you do?

Unfortunately, this scenario is fact, not fiction, and it has played out again and again for well over a year. This recession is unlike most others. In the past, high salaried, “white collar” professionals have been spared massive workforce reductions. Not this time. Whole swaths of professional positions no longer exist.

This graphic from The Big Picture blog, helps tell the story.

Here’s another visual representation of job shifts along with personal stories from the Wall Street Journal.

This reduction in the professional sector affects us all. At risk of oversimplifying the economic impact, high salaried individuals tend to make big ticket purchases that fuel the important consumer spending side of the economic equation.

Fortunately, there may be a silver lining to this cloud. Large amounts of stimulus funding (through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act) are now available to help unemployed Americans retool and retrain. I am happy to say, UCLA Extension is ready to play a big role.


Thirty-three of our professional certificate programs in high demand fields are now approved for such funding. Eligible individuals may receive funding for the entire cost of their certificate program, including books and materials. The Los Angeles Times featured this program in a recent article.

We are one of the few education providers with extensive expertise in serving the professional segment of our workforce. UCLA Extension provides accessible, flexible, rigorous, and employer-recognized programs that help individuals move into new fields and jobs quickly.

 More information here.