Outreach, Extension, and Continuing Education (OECE) is aimed to practice, continue and ensure the development and sustainability of the learning, whether it is knowledge or skill for an individual and the whole society. There are many different definitions and understanding of Outreach, Extension and Continuing Education used at different universities around the world. Let us provide a brief explanation of how we use these terms at IUB:
Outreach is the activities of providing educational services to populations who might not otherwise have access to those services. Educational outreach campaigns provide educational experiences for young people in classrooms, libraries, after-school programs, community-based organizations, museums, etc. as well as supporting the professional development of the professionals and paraprofessionals who work with them. Through the Outreach, the faculty, staff and students collaborate with external groups in mutually beneficial partnerships that are grounded in scholarship and consistent with the role and mission of our university. Students play a vital role in these programs, and gain practical experience by serving as tutors, mentors, and interns. Outreach also includes distance education. With the exception of distance courses for credit, outreach activities are typically free of charge.
Examples: Mathematics and Science Competitions for high school students; partnering with NGOs in providing education and/or skill-building activities for under-privileged students; the writing workshops for high school students; IUB students volunteering in NGOs, media houses, etc.; organized campus visits for high school students with lectures and educational activities; publishing educational videos on YouTube; distance education courses offered for credit.
Extension is a way of applying professional expertise and connecting community residents to the resources of the university to help solve locally-identified problems. In other words, it is the application of knowledge gained in academic teaching, research, and work experience for the benefit of others external to the University. This integration of teaching, research, and public service enables the Extension to respond to critical, emerging issues with research-based information. It involves identifying community needs and then partnering with local organizations and individuals to address them through research, publications, innovation, meetings, tours, and other techniques.
Examples: Working with industry, government, or NGOs to transfer research discoveries into treatments, products, or practices; conducting research in partnership with a community organization and then using the findings to affect people’s lives or their environment; using research to inform decision makers on policy issues; serving on community boards because of disciplinary expertise; consulting with community organizations.
Continuing Education typically assumes that the participant already has a university education and is simply continuing it. These continuation activities can result in credit/certification or not. Participants are typically charged a fee for their participation.
Examples: Degree credit courses for non-traditional students; non-degree career training; workforce training; formal professional development and personal enrichment courses (both on-campus and online); executive education; professional workshops.