After the launch of Tech’s strategic plan in late 2020, working groups were formed to explore ideas and initiatives to bring the strategic focus areas to life. Nelson Baker, dean of Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE), and Charles Isbell, dean and John P. Imlay, Jr. Chair of the College of Computing, co-chaired one of those groups, called “GTPE Next.” The GTPE Next group collaborated to develop several key takeaways, one of which was to explore the creation of a new, transformational, and innovative academic unit dedicated to lifetime learning. The GTPE Next group has evolved into a broader group focused on “Lifetime Learning.”
Lifetime Learning Initiative:
The proposed new academic unit will bring together GTPE, the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), and the Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U). These three entities form the basis and starting point for the research and educational mission of the proposed new academic unit. The proposed new academic unit could mean opportunities for new and expanded research, curricula, students, and professional support for educators at every stage “from K to grey.”
Lifetime Learning Initiative Co-chairs:
- Dean Nelson Baker, GTPE
- Dean Charles Isbell, College of Computing
- Working Groups Established to Explore Lifetime Learning Unit - Oct. 14, 2022
Georgia Tech to Explore New Academic Unit, Aligns Key Units - Aug. 31, 2022
"Thinking Forward: Foundations for a Lifetime Learning College at Georgia Tech" (GTPE Next, Georgia Tech, 2022)
"Deliberate Innovation, Lifetime Education" (Commission on Creating the Next in Education, Georgia Tech, 2018)
The Lifetime Learning initiative is supported by three working groups with cross-functional representation from across the Georgia Tech community. The groups are tasked with engaging key stakeholders and developing recommendations. A detailed report will be submitted to Georgia Tech leadership in early 2023, with an update to the University System of Georgia leadership shortly after. The working groups are focused on the following areas:
Georgia Tech has completed an eight-week engagement with consultant, Accenture, who facilitated external discovery and research, including:
market landscape for lifetime learning;
potential benchmarks against peers and competitors inside and outside of higher education; and
best practices of lifetime education ventures.
Initiative Town Hall - Nov 7, 2022
On Nov. 7, Provost McLaughlin and initiative leadership hosted a town hall for faculty and staff of CEISMC, C21U, and GTPE. View the recording.
Listening Sessions for CEISMC, C21U, and GTPE
Faculty and staff of CEISMC, C21U, and GTPE have been invited to a series of listening and input sessions which began in October 2022 and will run through early 2023. Inquire about a CEISMC, C21U or GTPE listening session.
Campus Listening Sessions
Faculty and staff outside of CEISMC, C21U, and GTPE can also participate in the process in the spring. Inquire about a campus listening session.
- For individuals who cannot make a session, submit your feedback via the online survey.
August 2021 – May 2022
The GTPE Next group developed several key takeaways, one of which was to explore the creation of a new academic unit.
Phase 1: Analysis and Ideation
GTPE Next initiative becomes “Lifetime Learning” initiative, including the organizational alignment of the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), the Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U), and Georgia Tech Professional Education.
Fall 2022 – Early 2023
- Eight-week engagement with external consultant, Accenture, began in September.
- Georgia Tech working groups formed and began data collection and synthesis in October.
- Listening sessions and town hall offered to faculty and staff of CEISMC, C21U, and GTPE, as well as interested members of the greater campus community, beginning in November.
- Working groups submit a detailed report to Georgia Tech leadership, with an update to the University System of Georgia shortly thereafter in early 2023.
Phase II: Detailed Planning
Early 2023 – Mid 2023
- New working groups are established to drive more detailed planning. Design Teams are formed in the core units to support cultural alignment and change management.
- Working groups develop implementation and transition plans for proposed new academic unit.
- Draft implementation and transition plan recommendations are delivered to executive leadership. Executive leadership will review and provide feedback.
- The implementation plan is finalized and presented for final review and approval.
Phase III: Launch
Implementation teams and additional work groups established. New team formation and mobilization for core units. Budget allocations initialized.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Georgia Tech exploring a new academic unit?
Tech’s strategic plan calls for investment in lifetime education. As a public research university, we have a growing responsibility and opportunity to serve all kinds of learners and to support the state with a diverse, knowledgeable, and prepared workforce. Georgia Tech has a long history of investment in education outside of our traditional degree programs.
The next step is to explore how we might leverage our experience and our resources to make even more of a difference for learners and employers across the state. We aim to lead the national conversation on the continuing evolution of higher education to meet the needs of the future.
What units are affected?
The proposed new academic unit will build on the foundation of Georgia Tech’s ecosystem for lifetime learning. That foundation includes the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), the Center for 21st Century Universities (C21U), and Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE).
During the summer of 2022, the three units were aligned organizationally and will be the core group for the proposed new academic unit. No group is being absorbed into the other and day-to-day work will continue as usual. Steve Harmon, executive director of C21U, and Lizanne DeStefano, executive director of CEISMC, report to Dean Nelson Baker with the C21U and CEISMC teams continuing to report as they have.
Who is working on the creation of the new unit?
The establishment of a new academic unit is a long process, and Georgia Tech is at its very beginning. The first steps are to define the structure and facilitate the governance approval process. A team has been established to focus on these aspects with a plan to submit a detailed report to Georgia Tech leadership in early 2023, with an update to the University System of Georgia leadership shortly thereafter.
This initiative is co-chaired by Nelson Baker and Charles Isbell and supported by three working groups with cross-functional representation from across the Georgia Tech community, as well as Georgia Tech Strategic Consulting, which is acting as project manager.
The areas of focus for the working groups are:
Academic Vision, Research, Faculty Governance & Strategic Planning
- Charles Isbell (College of Computing)
- Jonathan Clarke (Scheller College of Business)
Charge: Set up key questions, develop a planning timeline, and make recommendations for the vision/mission of the academic unit’s activities, as well as faculty composition and directions that will enable strategic planning.
Business Model & Operations
- Nelson Baker (Georgia Tech Professional Education)
- Daren Hubbard (Office of Information Technology)
Charge: Identify key questions and make recommendations for the academic unit relating to its operating model, legal structure, staffing/faculty structure, administrative processes, data governance, and internal/external policies that enable the new academic unit’s success.
Change Management & Communications Planning
- Renee Kopkowski (Institute Communications)
- Jennifer Herazy (Office of the Provost)
Charge: Develop a change management plan to set the culture of the new academic unit, as well as a communications plan and key messages to communicate to internal and external audiences the vision/ideas/steps as outlined and developed throughout the academic unit creation process.
How can I get involved?
If you are a member of C21U, CEISMC, or GTPE, then Georgia Tech Strategic Consulting will reach out and ask you to join a small group listening session to provide your feedback. A series of listening and input sessions began in October 2022 and will run through early 2023.
Faculty and staff outside of CEISMC, C21U, and GTPE can also participate in the process in the spring. Inquire about a listening session.
If approved by the University System of Georgia, when will the proposed academic unit be created?
Has Tech hired consultants as part of the planning process?
Yes. External consulting firm Accenture worked with us in September and October 2022 to do market research and case study analyses. The results of their work are now available and will be used by our three working groups, managed by campus stakeholders, to focus on key aspects of a potential new academic unit. Read the Accenture Report.
How will the new unit affect educational opportunities for K-12 students? For staff? For alumni?
As an employee in CEISMC, C21U, or GTPE, how will my job be impacted by the organizational alignment or the proposed new academic unit?
Will the proposed new academic unit produce research?
The proposed new unit will do research on topics including pedagogy, andragogy, K-12 and higher education policy and curriculum. The unit will also include a Learner Hub, a practicing and applied unit to teach, to test research, and to provide learning services.
Is there a name for the proposed new academic unit?
The proposed new academic unit's name will be determined as part of the planning process.
Are there any new degrees and certificates proposed in connection to the proposed new academic unit?
Who will lead the proposed new academic unit?
How does the organizational alignment impact units’ functions and approvals within Workday and OneUSG?
How will the new unit affect Georgia Tech’s Anchor Institution Initiative?
The new unit fits well with the Anchor Institution plans and we believe the two initiatives will support one another.
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