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Special Programs becomes Division of Executive and Continuing Education

By Tom Scherberger
Published July 9, 2014
Categories: About Eckerd

Eckerd College Special Programs has been renamed the Division of Executive and Continuing Education, a move that underscores the breadth and scope of the mission that began more than 30 years ago.

“This change better reflects our division’s work and the clients we serve,” said Kelly Kirschner, dean of the newly named division. “A commitment to lifelong learning is essential for both human and organizational development and is a core value of  Eckerd College.”

The division’s focus on executive education and professional development includes the Leadership Development Institute (LDI), the Center for Conflict Dynamics and the Entrepreneurial Dimensions Profile. In November, a certificate program in digital and social media will be added.

Equally important is the division’s focus on continuing education, including the Academy of Senior Professionals, the English Language School,  the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, the Road Scholar program and the  Eckerd College Writers’ Conference: Writers in Paradise.The division also operates a modern Conference Center and Lodge.

Besides the name change, Kirschner announced that Megan Watson Kramer will fill the new role of Executive Director, Executive Education & Professional Development. Kramer, LDI’s lead for business development and marketing for nearly two decades, will have expanded responsibility for developing local and national business with particular emphasis on the division’s executive and professional development programs.

Among other things, Kramer will oversee the launch of the division’s first certificate program in professional development. The certificate in Digital & Social Media will be offered in partnership with Memorial University’s Gardiner Business Centre. The program will be open to anyone seeking to hone their skills in the high-demand and burgeoning field of digital and social media, including students in the Eckerd residential and Program for Experienced Learners.

Here’s a closer look at the division’s programs:

  • The Leadership Development Institute has been a network associate of the Center for Creative Leadership since 1981 and delivers internationally acclaimed executive development programs to thousands of local, national and international clients. The Center ranked No. 4  in the 2014 Financial Times worldwide survey of executive education. CCL has ranked in the Top 10 for 13 consecutive years and is the only institution among 75 in the survey specializing in leadership education and research.

  • The Center for Conflict Dynamics and the Mediation Training Institute help organizations and individuals develop effective approaches for managing conflict. The Center works with hundreds of consultants, trainers and coaches around the world to deliver myriad conflict management and resolution services.

  • Based on research into the traits, motivations and skills of entrepreneurs, the Entrepreneurial Dimensions Profile helps individuals and groups assess the degree to which they use an “entrepreneurial mindset.” This cutting-edge tool accurately targets entrepreneurial strengths as well as specific opportunities for development, so it is ideal for corporate leaders, students and entrepreneurs alike.

  • The Academy of Senior Professionals (ASPEC) is a nationally recognized community for lifelong learners, offering opportunities for peer-led intellectual stimulation, physical activities and social interaction for almost 300 members.

  • The ELS English Language School offers language and university preparation classes to thousands of students from around the world. Living on campus or in the homes of local families, students benefit from their interaction with the Eckerd College community.

  • The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is a membership organization whose mission is to provide affordable, high-quality, non-credit courses and programs for residents in the greater Tampa Bay area. The Institute also offers many study-travel adventures each year.

  • Road Scholar is a week-long residential program offering creative approaches to myriad liberal arts topics. Over 70 programs are offered annually in various Florida locations.

  • Co-founded by Eckerd Professor Emeritus Sterling Watson ’69 and best-selling author and Eckerd graduate Dennis Lehane ’88,  the Eckerd College Writers’ Conference: Writers in Paradise is an intensive eight-day experience of intimate workshop classes, roundtables, panel discussions, readings, book signings and cocktail receptions designed for those who are passionate about writing. Workshop classes with best selling authors are offered each January.

  • The Eckerd College Conference Center offers comfortable, professional and affordable options for meetings, conferences, retreats or other special events.

For more information about the Division of Executive and Continuing Education at Eckerd College, call 800-753-0444 or email

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