The University Record, September 5 , 1995

Dearborn launches new degree program in adult instruction and performance technology

By Terry Gallagher

A new graduate program at the U-M-Dearborn School of Education that will prepare people to work as educators and trainers in business and industry “reflects the growing importance of a highly trained work force in a global economy” says the School‘s dean, John Poster.

The new degree program, leading to a master of arts in adult instruction and performance technology, will get under way this fall.

An evening program targeted toward teaching and training professionals in the private sector, the new offering will serve those “who need to gain more knowledge of adult instruction and performance technology because of the need for a more sophisticated cadre of corporate employees,” Poster says.

“There is a strong demand for such a program and it‘s consistent with our mission to provide service to the community and develop partnerships with area employers. Because the program is sharply focused on the role of education in improving business efficiency and effectiveness, it is unique in the state of Michigan.”

Approved by the Regents at their July meeting, the 30-credit hour program will build on a successful certificate program already in place. Major features of the new program include a cross-disciplinary approach to adult learners, a focus on improving the work force in the private sector and the opportunity to complete the program through part-time evening study.

“The focus is on instruction, instructional leadership, and applications of technology in organizational settings,” explains Dearborn faculty member Jerry Lapides, who will coordinate the program. “As a consequence, it addresses the range of contemporary workplaces and the need for trainers to acquire analytical, intercultural, organizational and instructional skills.”

Dearborn‘s School of Education has offered an adult education program since 1985, with nearly 100 graduates employed at area organizations and companies. Lapides notes that numerous firms willing to hire more trainers than are available.

“A recent survey of 70 regional employers indicated a desire for additional adult educators versed in performance technology,” Lapides says. “Demographic changes and national initiatives for worker training and retraining suggest a greater emphasis on adult education, and the quest for global markets has introduced a new urgency to employee skill development.

For more information about the program, call 593-5090.