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Growth through Service – A Longitudinal Four-Phase Natural Evolutionary Study of an Administrative Online Organization

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

CPDD Session 2 - Professional Development - Where Are We Going?

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

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Paper Authors


Mitchell L. Springer PMP, SPHR, SHRM-SCP Purdue Polytechnic Institute

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Dr. Mitchell L. Springer

Dr. Springer currently serves as an Executive Director for Purdue University’s Polytechnic Institute located in West Lafayette, Indiana. He has over thirty-five years of theoretical and defense industry-based practical experience from four disciplines: software engineering, systems engineering, program management and human resources. Dr. Springer possesses a significant strength in pattern recognition, analyzing and improving organizational systems. He is internationally recognized and has contributed to scholarship more than 300 books, articles, presentations, editorials and reviews on software development methodologies, management, organizational change, and program management. Dr. Springer sits on many university and community boards and advisory committees. He is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including local, regional and national recognitions for leadership in diversity, equity and inclusion.

Dr. Springer is the President of the Indiana Council for Continuing Education as well as the Past-Chair of the Continuing Professional Development Division of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Dr. Springer received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Purdue University, his MBA and Doctorate in Adult and Community Education with a Cognate in Executive Development from Ball State University. He is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP), Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR & SHRM-SCP), in Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), and, in civil and domestic mediation. Dr. Springer is a State of Indiana Registered domestic mediator.

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Kathryne Newton Purdue Polytechnic Institute

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Dr. Kathy Newton is an Associate Dean of Graduate Programs and Faculty Success for the Purdue Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University. She is a Professor of Supply Chain and Sales Engineering Technology in the School of Engineering Technology. Her teaching and scholarly interests are in the areas of supply chain management, quality control, and graduate education. She
served as Department Head of Industrial Technology from 2007 to 2010. Prior to her appointment at Purdue University
in 1993, she spent seven years teaching for Texas A&M University’s Department of Engineering
Technology. Dr. Newton has a Ph.D. in Educational Human Resource Development, a Master’s degree in Business Administration,
and a B.S. in Industrial Distribution, each from Texas A&M University.

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February, 2019, marked 10 years since the formal creation of the ______ University, College of __________’s Center for Professional Studies. Ten years of positive growth in the number of professional working adult learners served. What a great year to be celebrating this milestone; aligned to ______ University’s 150th year sesquicentennial celebration! Given the significance of this milestone, this paper provides a rich historical account of the evolution of the College’s efforts to serve the many professional working adult learners of our great State and Nation. The paper will address the growth of enrollments and gross revenue as each of the four phases evolved and matured. It will further examine the positives and negatives of each evolutionary milestone; specifically addressing the challenges of each phase, operating as a profit/loss center within a public non-profit research university. Phase I, in the fall of 1998, the College’s Department of Industrial Technology took a lead role in implementing the first weekend master’s program (WMP) on the campus of ______ University in City, State. The original offering was cohort-based and it employed a weekend format; meeting from Friday through Sunday. The cohort met three times a semester, twice in the summer semester, for a total of five semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall and Spring). Because of its non-traditional approach, the state’s authorization included the establishment of a different fee structure than normal on-campus classes which resulted in a program cost that was higher than traditional on-campus equivalent programs. Hence, the beginning of tuition-based versus fee-based program offerings. Phase I, the initial on-campus distance-hybrid offering in the fall of 1998 spawned a comparable off-site instantiation of this sole modality in 2005. Phase II, the 2005 instantiation was delivered in an on-site format at the location of a target corporate partner. This industry- and corporate-specific outreach instantiation provided for the first time, significantly increased outreach and enrollments outside of the main campus and the prior and on-going, on-campus, distance-hybrid baseline programs. Phase III, began in 2010 when the online administrative organization, in collaboration with the academic departments, entered the distance education market with three semi-asynchronous distance programs. Semi-asynchronous distance offerings created a significantly greater outreach, one not bounded by geography. The online administrative organization now enters Phase IV, the offering of 100%, globally available asynchronous delivered programs with highly evolved marketing and subsequent outreach. These new scaled program offerings place the unit at the precipice of great change once again. This new targeted emphasis on asynchronous global outreach is expected to realize challenges, as well as opportunities not previously experienced.

Springer, M. L., & Newton, K. (2020, June), Growth through Service – A Longitudinal Four-Phase Natural Evolutionary Study of an Administrative Online Organization Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34716

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