The Wire @ WPI Online
VOLUME 11, NO. 1     MAY 1997

Continuing Education paves road to lifelong learning

Arlene Lowenstein has a favorite Will Rogers quote: "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

The petite dynamo who directs WPI's continuing education program has no intention of getting run over. "WPI has been in the continuing education business since 1978," Lowenstein explains. "Since that time we've served more than 40,000 learners-from Worcester, Mass., to Galway, Ireland. We think of our program not just as continuing education, but as lifelong learning."

Lowenstein's office currently offers more than 200 leading-edge programs, including hands-on training in UNIX, C/C+, Java and Client/Server Technology, plus seminars and workshops in Quality Improvement, Project Management, World Class Manufacturing and Management Development. Each year, members of the WPI faculty and successful industry practitioners deliver these noncredit professional development programs to over 3,000 adult learners. About 10 percent of those who sign up are WPI alums.

Most instruction takes place at the "three W's": Worcester, Westborough and Waltham, where WPI opened a new campus last fall in quarters convenient to Route 128. Many of WPI's graduate programs are also delivered at the Waltham and Westborough sites.

The Office of Continuing Education also delivers on-site programs at hundreds of companies throughout the region. Two years ago, WPI presented its first international training program at C.R. Bard Ireland Ltd., in Galway, and has since reached out to Switzerland and to other regions throughout the U.S."

Product, place, price and promotion are the keys to our success," says Lowenstein. "We are thriving because we continually evaluate and fine-tune our programs and our target audiences.

We talk with our students and company reps, review market trends, work with consultants, and also read the Help Wanted ads. It's vital that those who participate in our programs come out with skills they can put to work."

The Waltham Campus has gotten off to a very good start with nearly 700 students expected to attend classes in the first 12 months. "Technology is changing the way we live and work," says Lowenstein. "Our programs are designed to help people adapt to these changes." And you can bet that neither the programs nor the students will ever be in danger of getting run over.

For additional information about WPI's Continuing Education program, call 508-831-5517 or visit the Web site at

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Last modified: Tue May 27 12:24:42 EDT 1997