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    The New Benerd College: Merger Focuses on Innovation in Education

    Dec 20, 2019

    This fall, Pacific officially introduced Benerd College, a school focused on providing modern educational programs in flexible formats to meet the diverse needs of today's students, including working adults returning to college to complete a degree, pursue graduate study, or further their professional or personal educational goals.

    The new Benerd College merges the highly-regarded programs of the Gladys L. Benerd School of Education and University College, Pacific’s home for professional and continuing education, into a new unit designed to take advantage of synergies and encourage innovation in program development and provision. Benerd College will offer relevant learning opportunities, flexible pricing and accessible program delivery to meet the needs of both the K–12 education community and adults across the region looking to advance their education and training.

    "Benerd College will build upon Pacific's reputation for excellence in education and take advantage of creative collaborations to design exciting and novel programs," said Maria Pallavicini, Pacific's interim president. "The two units will leverage their strengths to provide a wide variety of in-demand courses, certificates and degree programs to meet the continuing education needs of undergraduates, educators, professionals and adult learners."

    Benerd College will offer degree programs, a wide variety of continuing education courses, teaching credentialing and service credentialing, certificate programs and lifelong learning opportunities.

    "Today's students expect flexibility in course delivery and continuous innovation so the courses fit in their busy lives, while also finding flexibility in costs," said Patricia Campbell, dean of the new college.

    Benerd College students will have access to the B-Hive, an academic, credentialing and career advising unit designed for those who can't always seek support during traditional business hours because they work or have other commitments. The B-Hive will stay open later for Benerd students.

    The college also will continue to be Pacific's center for online and hybrid course development and in-house instructional designers to help faculty develop and implement online courses to better serve undergraduate and graduate students.

    Benerd College is now offering a Doctor of Education, Transformative Action in Education degree that uses a hybrid approach of interactive, online classes and face-to-face meetings. Benerd's doctoral degree options are tailored to practitioners in school districts, colleges, universities, government agencies, non-profits, healthcare and corporate contexts in the realms of learning, leadership and change.

    For people interested in growing their careers, professional development and continuing education courses are available online and in-person on a variety of topics including technology, business, health and writing. Benerd offers more than two dozen certificate programs to equip people with new skills.

    Another ongoing offering is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, better known as OLLI, designed for people ages 50+ and open to all adult learners. OLLI provides intellectually stimulating non-credit classes, interest groups, trips and special events.

    While Benerd College is new, it has the benefit of name recognition because of the long-standing reputation for excellence in education. Benerd College also has degree completion programs and in Fall 2020 will be adding a Criminal Justice concentration to it popular Organizational Leadership degree completion program and a for-credit post-baccalaureate credential in Clinical Laboratory Science. These offerings reflect the College's aim to provide degrees in a variety of fields that ultimately help people reach their professional and personal goals.

    To learn more about Benerd College, visit