About Us: Reflection and Dialogue on the Purpose of University Continuing Education in Canada

Lois Gander

Abstract


This article is a response to Scott McLean’s (2007) CJUCE Forum article “About Us,” which set out the claims that university continuing education (UCE) units make about themselves on their websites. Using the activities of the Legal Studies Program of the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta as a reference point, this article suggests that the activities of UCE units may not be as bland as their purpose statements suggest. The ability of those statements to represent the visions of UCE units is questioned, as is the adequacy of the processes by which such statements are generated. In doing so, the author exposes the need to catalogue what UCE units are actually doing and reflect on why we seem to need to downplay some of those activities. The article concludes with the suggestion that in presenting a synthesis of the units’ purpose statements, McLean takes UCE units full circle to the debate he set to the side: What should UCE units do?

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