Written by Katie Shpak, University Writer
“The School of Continuing Education is an important component of Post University as it complements the University’s goal of serving as an institution that prepares individuals to be ‘workforce ready,’” says Post University’s Dean of Continuing Education Dawn Sherman.
The School of Continuing Education will offer a variety of online, self-paced, and faculty-led short courses that do not require pre-requisites and will also be home to the University’s High School Academy. These courses can add substantial benefits to individuals seeking to advance within their career, others looking to shift their career in a new direction, or individuals pursuing personal growth and development. The courses are robust and interactive. Many of the courses will serve as micro-credentials and can be shared on resumes and LinkedIn pages to showcase additional skills to employers.
Sherman joined Post this past April and has been diligently working with the Provost, deans, and others across the university to develop continuing education programs. Police Recertification for Connecticut officers will be the first program in the school to launch this summer; beginning with the first set of the 27 courses in the series.
“All students who engage in the offerings in the School of Continuing Education will gain professional skills, will receive support in learning to articulate these skills to employers, and will be able to use their new skills to enhance their opportunities,” said Sherman.
Sherman has an extensive history working in higher education. Her first job working at a college began in 1980 at Bryant College in Student Affairs. She changed career paths temporarily, working with individuals in a homeless shelter in Hartford while working as the Director of Residence Programs at the Young Women’s Christian Association. Sherman then spent a few years as the Executive Director at Rainbow Child Development Center in Worcester, MA, serving 150 children from families with substantiated abuse.
“When I was working with students, I became passionate about supporting them – to instill confidence and help them believe in themselves,” said Sherman.
In 1999, Sherman returned to higher education, assuming a copious number of roles. She was an adjunct professor, teaching both graduate and undergraduate courses. At the graduate level, Sherman has taught many leadership courses, and at the undergraduate level, she has taught various business, sociology, psychology, and professional development courses.
Sherman has a great deal of experience developing new programs and putting efforts into building something from the ground up. From 1999-2011, she was the Director of the Professional Development Seminar (PDS) Program in Academic Affairs at Nichols College. In this role, Sherman co-created and led all aspects of the multi-faceted PDS, a series of required professional development courses that was required of all students and prepared them for the workforce. She was awarded the “Showcase 2007 Program Award” from the Center on Education and Work at the University of Wisconsin for her exceptional and creative career programming talents.
More recently, Dawn led the creation of a new International Student Pathway program for Shorelight Education at Auburn University in Alabama. This program, upon launch, became the second-largest Pathway program in the country, with more than 800 students after the first year.
Amidst each of these remarkable contributions to higher education, Sherman held other roles, many of which enhanced students’ education and overall college experience.
“I love creating something new and developing programs to benefit students,” said Sherman. “With the support from the Provost, other deans, and with campus-wide collaboration, I’m excited to see this endeavor underway.”
By the end of 2021, The School of Continuing Education will launch a more extensive list of soft-skill courses and micro-credentials. Keep an eye out for more information in the coming months.