Nearly two years have passed since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. During this unprecedented time, organizations across all industries have shown immense resilience, successfully pivoting their workflows and workforce into a digital-first environment.
As we celebrate another year of completion, Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE) has also been growing, stretching, and learning, dedicated to finding new and innovative ways to help our community navigate this rapidly changing world.
Despite uncertainties, our learners have embraced change – adjusting to the way they work and how they foster the development of their personal and professional learning goals.
Whether championing new proficiencies, pursuing additional credentials, or even changing careers, these working professionals have used education as a critical tool for workforce relevance.
While the world enters an era of labor shortages and skills gaps, I see this as a time to be bold. We’re exploring what the workforce needs for long-term agility in order to re-imagine how we deliver this knowledge from one career to another. We’re also committed to being a catalyst for transformation.
As you look through our 2021 Impact Report, you’ll see how we’ve spent the last year building upon our foundation of excellence and impact while serving as a voice for affordable, achievable, and accessible education for the years ahead.
I, and all of GTPE, value the contributions of our university community, faculty, staff, and learners to the shared commitment and values we hold together. Working together, possibilities unfold that seemed insurmountable but are now achievable. I thank each of you for these commitments to the Georgia Tech values and especially for serving all Georgia Tech learners, everywhere.
As an essential resource to the industry, we spent the last year expanding and refining our professional education to address emerging trends and transformations in business and technologies.
With online learning options more paramount than ever, we saw a record number of enrollments into our open online courses while expanding and launching new programs in emerging areas such as digital marketing and product management.
We also saw a considerable shift within the workplace with the integration of whole-person development. As such, we developed professional offerings that focused on personal skills training while increasing resilience and fostering well-being. In this spirit, we revised our decade-old project management professional program to reflect the current and forecasted needs within the workforce.
Beyond our signature, high-quality programs, we’ve partnered with companies to provide customized training to meet their talent needs in a quickly changing market while extending our ecosystem of learning partners within the Institute to help grow and develop Georgia Tech’s faculty and staff.
More than 193,000 learners turned to us in 2021 to sharpen their skills, acquire new knowledge, and earn high-demand credentials to advance or change their careers.
As we adapted to the ways we worked, lived, and learned, we also strived to serve as a ready source for those in their fields. Renewed partnerships with industry leaders, such as the Project Management Institute Atlanta Chapter, have created a culture of experiential learning beyond the classroom, while expanded virtual course offerings have supported efforts to keep our learners progressing within their careers and industries.
We’ve also continued to build community within our online degree programs, launching nine virtual Q&As throughout the semester for students to connect with their advisors. All while celebrating the first cohort of graduates from our Online Master of Science in Cybersecurity program, Georgia Tech’s third degree-at-scale.
As a unit with direct connections to the business community and its workforce, we are uniquely positioned to serve learners of all ages. This vantage point – at the intersection between campus and industry – is also key in supporting the economic development of our region, state, and beyond.
This past year saw tremendous growth for our military programs with an increased pipeline of post-service resources and skill development expansion in a new sought-after subject, warehouse logistics. This increase in program offerings and funding has allowed the program to grow beyond the state of Georgia, reaching service members in all four branches across the nation and shattering barriers to employment, cost, and location.
Additionally, we invested time and resources into tomorrow’s innovators and educators, cultivating diversity, equity, and inclusion within the technology industry while strengthening pathways into STEM careers alongside Georgia Tech's Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC).
With long-standing expertise in technology, distance delivery, and virtual engagement, we have a reputation as a driver of change.
As the Institute experienced a mix of remote and hybrid learning models for most of the year, our work with the Remote and Hybrid Teaching Academy underscored the importance of meaningful educational outcomes.
In support of learning within the Institute, we captured and delivered thousands of hours of synchronous and asynchronous content for graduate and undergraduate distance learning courses, receiving accolades from campus and our peers in professional, continuing, and online education.
We also took part in initiatives, activities, and events beyond the Tech campus to raise awareness of the Institute’s leadership in lifetime learning while becoming a valued contributor for accessible education models. Our signature event, the Affordable Degrees-at-Scale Symposium, took on new meaning during the pandemic as global leaders added an important perspective to the possibilities around affordable, accessible, and achievable online education.
Each year we seek to create and implement strategies that empower collaboration, facilitate continuous improvement, and support our long-term growth as the lifelong learning arm of the Institute.
While we had digital backbones before the pandemic, we saw an opportunity to build upon our technologies for additional transformations. Our upgraded event services and capabilities allowed us to reach even more learners around the globe through new virtual and hybrid solutions. And a cross-functional task force helped envision future transformations for our people, product, and process dimensions.
Additionally, we simplified the management of employee development across the Institute. From centralizing workforce development and professional learning under one umbrella to leading the transition to a new employee learning platform, we aimed to make employee development and training more accessible.