Source: Melinda Sinn, 785-532-5888, sinnpio@k-state.edu
Website: http://www.dce.k-state.edu

Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011

Recognized as best: University earns five continuing education central region awards for outstanding programs, staff

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University programs in horticultural therapy and food science and a Division of Continuing Education staff member are among the recipients of honors from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association's central region.

The university received five awards at the association's 2011 central region conference, "Finding Opportunities in Crisis," Oct. 12-14, in Clayton, Mo.

The honors include:

* Horticultural therapy graduate certificate, Innovative Credit Program Award. An emerging profession and practice, horticultural therapy is a method in which a trained horticultural therapist uses live plants and the growing environment to heal and rehabilitate people. The 15-credit hour certificate program is offered primarily online and meets the demand for distance learning programs in horticultural therapy.

* Food science program, Mature Credit Program Award. This collection of online programs, ranging from certificates to master's degrees, provides the fundamentals of developing, processing, manufacturing and marketing safe, wholesome and attractive food products. It is nationally recognized and certified by the Institute of Food Technologists. The online program's enrollment numbers are comparable to the largest food science programs that are offered on campus at U.S. institutions.

* NurseryWorks Conference, Innovative Non-credit Program Award. This on-campus conference on nursery production meets a need to bring continuing education to growers in Kansas and improve production practices -- lowering environmental impact and increasing plant quality -- that can result in higher revenue for nurseries in in the state. Part of the conference is at the K-State Gardens.

* Kansas State University Music Symposium, Mature Non-credit Program Award. Offered for 23 consecutive years, this symposium brings high quality, affordable professional development to all music educators, including instrumental teachers, vocal/choral teachers, private studio teachers and general music teachers.

* Rosanna Vail, communications specialist in the university's Division of Continuing Education for the last five years, received the Continuing Education Support Specialist Award. Vail prepares content for news and feature stories, advertising copy, newsletters, electronic communications and manages marketing projects in the division. She is a professional member of the association and has co-authored an article in the Continuing Higher Education Review, the association's professional journal.

Division staff also presented two break-out sessions at the conference, including "Bad Times Never Been So Good," about the development of a grant funding model for online program development; and "Striving for Excellence in Online Teaching: Three Models," about faculty development methods, course construction techniques and quality control in online teaching.

"Kansas State University is an active institutional member of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association," said Melinda Sinn, director of marketing and communication services in K-State's Division of Continuing Education. "These awards and our involvement at the conference showcase the university's investment in continuing education efforts as we continue to lead in the region and the nation."

More information about the university's award-winning continuing education programs can be found at http://www.dce.k-state.edu or by contacting the Division of Continuing Education at informationdce@k-state.edu.