Hit the Ground Running: Continuing and Distance Education in Saskatchewan

Industry West


This article was originally published by Industry West Magazine. Read the full article on Here. 

It’s rare to spend a career with one company, or even the same field—unlike decades past. People change jobs, companies, and career paths several times throughout their lives. Today, with a pandemic lingering (and still shaking up our economy) and technology disrupting virtually every industry, new skills are needed to move on or up into something different. Now more than ever, reskilling and upskilling are required to adapt and stay sharp.

However, many people cannot afford the time or money to complete a full-time degree. Continuing and distance education is often the answer to get the knowledge and skills required, without the major commitment of a traditional post-secondary education. Offered by post-secondary institutions across the province, continuing and distance education can be the key to making your next career move happen—or the way you can give your employees the knowledge they need to advance your organization’s goals.


Edwards School of Business, Executive Education, University of Saskatchewan

Business education doesn’t end with an undergraduate degree or college diploma. Business is dynamic and changing every day with trends and technology. Edwards Executive Education keeps business people ahead of the curve with continuing education with a wide range of programming in areas such as communications, management, leadership, process and project management and governance. The typical learner in executive education ranges from entry-level supervisor to those in senior leadership.

COVID-19 converted programs online, and Edwards demand for their offerings was steady. “The quality and value of programming offered virtually is our top priority which is why we only converted programs that deliver the same quality and value,” says Noreen Mahoney, director, Executive Education. “The content and value of these programs has not changed, just the way they are delivered. They are different, not diminished.”

Among the continuing education programs converted to virtual delivery is the Digital and Social Media Program, now offered in an online delivery format including recorded modules and live sessions that participants complete at their own pace over an 8-week period. The Certified Coach Training program has been offered twice through virtual delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Speaking as a Leader program was also offered virtual delivery with adaptations to offer participants the opportunity to implement their learning as they progressed through the programming.

“All of our virtual and online programming has received extremely positive feedback with many individuals enjoying the flexibility and adaptations made to learn virtually,” says Mahoney. The school learned quickly that offering virtual and online continuing education opened their market to people located in rural Saskatchewan or outside our province normally unreachable with in-person training.

“Program demand has remained high during the pandemic as participants are still looking to acquire new skillsets and learnings that will be required post-pandemic,” says Ashley Drozda, manager, Executive Education. The school’s leadership programs are the most popular, even through COVID-19. Leadership is always a high priority for organizations, and continuing education develops the skills required to excel in leadership roles. Edwards also sees demand for its Project and Process Management and Communications programs—providing skills that are necessary in today’s modern workforce.

“There is no better time than right now to start continuing education for your career,” says Drozda. “Your dream position is not going to wait for you to develop these skills, so be proactive and develop the skills needed to succeed.

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