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Continuing and Professional Education

The Division of Continuing Education was established in 1968 as part of Virginia Cooperative Extension, as was the Donaldson Brown Center for Continuing Education (popularly known as the CEC; now the Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown). A center director was hired from the Virginia Tech faculty to coordinate construction of the center and to develop contacts for programs to be held there.  The center formally opened January 2, 1968. In addition to the first director, a second director—also a faculty member—was hired to focus on program development. Initially, all Continuing Education programs were held at the CEC, but early in the 1970s the division began offering programs across Virginia. Today, the division provides programs not only throughout the commonwealth, but also across the nation and in other countries. About half of the programs—conferences, short courses, seminars, and workshops—are held at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, which was donated to the university and, after extensive remodeling, opened on April 1, 1995, is the site for numerous programs as well. The division was moved to the Division of Public Service—which later became University Outreach and International Programs, then Outreach, and now Outreach and International Affairs—in 1990. First director after reorganization: C. Ned Lester. Continuing Education became part of Outreach Program Development in Outreach and International Affairs during a reorganization of OIA in 2003. Continuing and Professional Education works with the university’s colleges to disseminate research findings to support workforce development, organizational development, technology transfer, and certification programs for numerous professionals.