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Advancing careers through continuing education

Nursing school business manager Adam Malm knew that he wanted to go back to school during the formative stages of his career, even why he wanted to continue his studies. He just wasn't sure what to study.

"It's important to me to be a good strong leader and to know what that takes," Malm says, explaining his motivation. "I was torn between project management, an MBA, and organizational leadership."

He credits two Emory Continuing Education (ECE) certificate programs in the essentials of management with his decision to pursue an administration and a master's degree in organizational leadership. "I really loved the courses, and they got me inspired," says the 2016 Award of Distinction winner.

ECE's strategic shift from personal enrichment classes to professional development courses, several of which align with Georgia's High Demand Career Initiative, is clearly meeting a community need. ECE factors market research and community recommendations into its decisions about new offerings. To date, the most popular topics include IT, professional development, and test preparation.

"ECE has become increasingly focused on workforce development by creating programs that meet the needs of the state and are consistent with Emory's strengths, mission, and standards," says Lynn Zimmerman, senior vice provost for academic affairs. "These programs equip our students with skills needed for new or enhanced careers, prepare them to pass critical credentialing exams, and provide them with the knowledge they need to advance in their careers."

Atlanta native Providencia Lopez says her new Event Planning Certificate -- completed in a program taught by Michael Kloss, executive director of university events -- helped to not only land her first job in the field but also set an example of achievement for her two daughters.

"After working with Emory, I feel like the sky is the limit," Lopez says. "I'm even thinking about a bachelor's in hospitality management."