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Certificate Enrollment
Climbs 25% at UC San Diego Extension

January 17, 2008

By Henry DeVries

Enrollment in certificate programs at UC San Diego Extension has increased 25 percent, according to Edward Abeyta, registrar and director of student services for the university’s extended studies programs. A total of 2,362 students were enrolled in continuing education certificate programs at the beginning of 2008, as compared to 1,890 enrollees at the start of 2007.

“This increase in enrollment is consistent with the continuing trend among professionals to supplement their undergraduate and graduate degree experience with the kind of practical study, networking, and recognition that certificate programs provide,” said Abeyta.

The three continuing education certificate programs attracting the most enrollees are business management, copy editing and clinical trials.  Overall, extended studies certificate programs attracted 36 percent  of enrollees from outside San Diego County, with 485 (20 percent) visiting from outside the region and another 367 (16 percent) enrolled in strictly online certificate programs.

The business management certificate program is especially suited for individuals in specialized fields who desire an understanding of more general business and management topics. One of the reasons for the certificate program’s popularity is the number of enrollees from foreign countries who come to learn about American business while improving their English, the global language of not only business but also communications, higher education, diplomacy, aviation, the Internet, science, popular music, entertainment and international travel. To earn the certificate students must complete five required courses and three courses in an area of specialization. Tuition averages around $450 per course.

“The reason why I came to UC San Diego was to get an insight into American business culture, and also to get a chance to experience it in practice through internships,” said Martin Rockstrom, a business management certificate student from Sweden. “That, in combination with being able to enjoy San Diego in all of its diversity, is fantastic.”

A popular niche offering, the copy editing certificate program offers convenience to students any where in the world because the course is 100 percent online. Copy editing, especially technical and nonfiction editing, is one of today’s most marketable skills for both full-time and freelance work. Copyeditors who have a specialized background (science, technical, medical) or proficiency with digital media are particularly in demand. The four courses in the copy editing certificate program can be completed online in 12-15 months. Tuition is $295 to $395 per course, with the average student spending three hours online and six hours offline doing assignments each week.

The clinical trials certificate program, the first educational program of its kind, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and has long been one of the most offerings. Designed in partnership with leaders in the pharmaceutical and biomedical research industry, the UC San Diego Extension clinical trials certificate programs prepare a highly trained and globally competitive workforce for the local, national, and international biotech communities.

More than 2,300 students have participated in the Clinical Trials program from such companies as Amilyn, Pfizer, Novartis, Gen-Probe, Biogen Idec, Neurocrine, and Quintiles. The program, which combines on campus courses with online learning, continues to increase its national reputation and global reach by attracting many of its students from more than a dozen states in the U.S. plus international students from Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

The Professional Certificate in Clinical Trials Design and Management is 200+ hours in length with about half of the classes offered online, and the rest offered on weeknights and Saturdays. The program may be completed in as little as six months, although most students prefer to take one to two years to complete. The typical cost is usually about $3,100-$3,700, depending on the student’s choice of electives.

The Specialized Certificate in Clinical Trials Administration is 100 hours in length and costs $1895 complete. A condensation of the required courses from the design and management certificate and a number of the most relevant elective courses, the administration program starts with a five-day workshop, followed by three online classes, and concludes with a two-day workshop.

Overall, UC San Diego Extension enrolls about 20,000 students per year in university-level professional and enrichment courses, including about 80 certificate programs and 12 specialized study programs.

Andrea Houck, who recently completed a certificate program, was impressed with the quality of her fellow students and their high levels of participation during class.

“I wanted to learn the fundamentals of event planning and bring that skill set to my job in government communications,” says Houck, a communications specialist who works in the defense industry for Wyle Laboratories supporting the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR).  “I have been able to apply these new skills everyday, which has not only helped my company but my professional development as well.”


Media Contact: Henry DeVries, 619-540-3031 or 858-534-9955

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