Thomas Jefferson envisioned that his University of Virginia
would prepare the young citizens of the Commonwealth and the nation to pursue
productive careers in public service, agriculture and commerce; and for ninety
years, students have pursued the ideal of higher education in the buildings
that Jefferson designed almost 200 years ago.
In 1915, the University of Virginia organized a Bureau of Extension
to deliver its academic resources to people throughout the state in the spirit
of Jeffersons "hope [that] the education of the common people will
be attended to." Subsequently, the University added to its Statement of
Purpose and Goals an injunction to provide public service activities and continuing
and professional studies programs of the highest quality to the citizens of
Virginia and the nation. Today, the University of Virginias School of
Continuing and Professional Studies serves annually more than 30,000 individuals
in credit and noncredit courses of study, as well as conferences, seminars,
and training programs. In all academic pursuits, the School has adhered to a
standard of lifelong learning, established first by Jeffersons notion
of "education on the broad scale," whereby adults vigorously attend
to their education throughout their lives.
And yet, while maintaining "the broad scale" of learning,
the School of Continuing and Professional Studies has not lost sight of the
practicality necessary for education in the twenty-first century. The School
creates opportunities for adult students to learn about the most recent advances
in research and scholarship, in an environment conducive to liberal learning,
and from faculty members actively engaged in a plethora of scholarly studies.
Through the School of Continuing and Professional Studies,
University of Virginia faculty members share the results of their inquiries
and test the implications of their findings with a variety of individuals from
diverse personal backgrounds and career experiences. At the same time, program
participants broaden their knowledge and hone such critical skills as strategic
thinking and problem solving. Above all else, the School aims to cultivate the
highest quality of education balanced with the broadest sense of learning.
Programs of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies
enable executives from business and industry, as well as professionals from
many fields, to respond quickly and successfully to the ever-changing challenges
in their work lives. Political and community leaders engage in the focused study
of significant public policy issues, examine the problems facing the institutions
which they support or govern, and consider the assumptions about quality of
life and civic responsibility which guide their communities.