11 benefits of a continuing education interim

Thu, Jan 29,2015 @ 11:30 AM
by Dr. Layne J. Harpine |

iStock_000040509254_SmallAt a gathering of the LERN Consulting Team, Russ Mills discussed the work he was engaged in as a continuing education interim leader. Mills’ experiences and success strategies demonstrated the return-on-investment of using a LERN consultant during transitional periods, administrative absences, and when a continuing education program is in need of improving performance.

When Mills was asked the most important reasons to have a LERN continuing education interim, he shared the following list:

  1. You have a team member completely versed in LERN’s best practices, benchmarks, and trends.
  2. The interim leader has immediate access to additional LERN resources such as other LERN consultants, tools, and research.
  3. Your program is able to tap into an outside perspective, supported by years of actual hands-on work.
  4. As a team member, the interim leader is committed to lifelong learning and is able to communicate to central administration why your program is important and needs central administration’s support.
  5. The interim leader is experienced in continuing education course programming, marketing, contract sales, and operations.
  6. You have someone who is willing to help you make hard decisions and with the skill set to implement the decisions.
  7. Your program now has expertise and commitment to program financial accountability and self-supporting business based on proven principles.
  8. The interim leader is skilled at creating new job functions and job descriptions and in reorganizing and restructuring staff for greater efficiencies.
  9. Your program has an advocate who can raise visibility and awareness of continuing education at the institution, encouraging internal partnerships.
  10. A continuing education expert able to lead the recruitment and hiring processes as an advisor, search committee chair, or as a final interviewer for Dean, Program Director, Marketing Director, and Operations Director positions.
  11. You have a person who is skilled in serving as the leader in the transition from acting leadership to permanent leadership through professional development, training, networking, and mentoring.

LERN is projecting 25-50% of continuing education institutions will be shut down, decentralized, or merged during this decade. A program falling into the challenged 25-50% group may have no choice, but to lean on LERN for support while the top 50% will utilize LERN to increase their market share, financial performance, and position within the institution.

For more information about LERN interim services, contact Layne Harpine at

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