William Paterson University establishes College of Adult and Professional Studies

William Paterson University in Wayne on Wednesday said it transforming its School of Continuing and Professional Education into a College of Adult and Professional Studies.

As of July 1, the new college will provide innovative approaches to meeting the needs of adult learners as well as those seeking to build community with peers, gain support for credit for prior learning and discover pathways from noncredit training into William Paterson’s for-credit programs.

William Paterson has doubled its campus percentage of adult learners over the past five years.

“Our new College of Adult and Professional Studies will focus on meeting the distinct needs of the growing number of adult learners in New Jersey and beyond who are seeking degree completion, professional certification or alternate credentials to achieve their educational goals and enhance their career,” University President Richard Helldobler said.

William Paterson’s new college will provide its adult learners with personalized pathways to obtain credit for prior learning and life experiences, navigate academic and student finance processes and benefit from a strong array of support services tailored to their busy lives.

“Our adult learners can choose academic programs leading to a bachelor’s degree, professional certifications and noncredit offerings that support career advancement and transition,” Joshua Powers, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said. “Our academic programs are aligned with regional, state and national in-demand industry sectors and include online, in-person and hybrid offerings for maximum flexibility.”

Kara Rabbitt, who serves as associate provost for academic initiatives and adult and professional studies, will oversee the new college. Rabbitt previously served as dean and associate dean of the university’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. In her role as associate provost, she has worked to expand William Paterson’s programs serving adult populations, including expanding undergraduate degree completion options in the University’s WP Online platform, which currently offers 65 fully online bachelor’s, master’s and certificate programs.

The college will house the university’s Center for Degree Completion and Adult Learning, which works with returning students on securing credit for prior learning through testing, portfolio assessment of related work experience and credit equivalency options for professional training and credentials.