New, easy-to-use continuing education system debuts at Temple

Temple University offers hundred of non-credit and continuing education courses each year

Students will no longer have to search through dozens of different websites to find a personal enrichment or licensure program they are interested in at Temple.

Temple has begun the first phase of a three-year project to provide a centralized “one-stop-shopping” registration and payment system — DestinyOne — for all of Temple’s continuing education and noncredit programs.

Each year, thousands of participants sign up for hundreds of noncredit and continuing education opportunities offered by Temple through more than 100 different programs. Continuing education students can study advertising online with the School of Media and Communication, master a language through Access Temple’s Intensive English Language Program or become licensed real estate agents from Temple University Center City’s Real Estate Institute.

“The continuing education landscape at Temple is extremely broad, diverse and diffuse,” said Nicole Westrick, Senior Manager of Non-Credit Operations and Technical Support, who has been working with departments throughout Temple to implement DestinyOne. “For someone interested in taking a professional development course, enrolling their child in a summer camp or participating in corporate training at their place of business, it can be difficult to navigate the ‘who, what, and where’ of what Temple offers.”

The DestinyOne system, developed by Destiny Solutions and tailored to meet the needs of Temple’s comprehensive continuing education offerings, is designed to change all of that.

“Temple has hundreds of non-credit/continuing education courses, seminars, workshops, conferences and training opportunities each year offered through more than 100 different programs in 48 departments. Non-credit programs have been for the most part decentralized — they were created as a need arose,” said Dr. Vicki Lewis McGarvey, Vice Provost for University College. “We chose DestinyOne because it will allow non-credit programs the maximum amount of control in running their own programs on their own schedules and timelines while standardizing the business operations, such as taking online registrations and payments. Programs will be able to spend less time on administration and more time on running their programs and developing new ones — that’s especially important in Temple’s new decentralized budget environment.”

What Self Service Banner is for credit courses at Temple, DestinyOne will be for non-credit and continuing education programs, according to Westrick.

When fully implemented, the registration system could include Temple’s personal enrichment courses, conferences, online and in-person certificate programs; licensure programs in medicine, real estate and law; lifelong learning programs; youth programs; corporate training programs offered at businesses and institutions throughout the region; and much more.

DestinyOne will initially roll out with full registration and payment implementation for all non-credit/continuing education programs offered by the Office of Non-Credit and Continuing Education (ONCE); the School of Media and Communication (SMCPlus); the Real Estate Institute (REI) at Temple University Center City; Pan-African Studies Community Enrichment Program (PASCEP); the Osher LifeLong Learning Institute (OLLI); Access Temple; Temple’s Intensive English Language Program; and the LifeLong Learning Society offered at Temple Fort Washington.

The School of Media and Communication’s SMC Plus program will be using DestinyOne to launch an entirely new set of online non-credit courses, according to Dana Saewitz, Associate Professor of Advertising, Interim Chair of the Department of Advertising and Co-director of SMC Plus. First up is a six-course skills-based certificate in Digital Advertising.

“When we began developing these programs, there was no centralized registration or payment system. We were thrilled to learn about the launch of DestinyOne; the DestinyOne team has been providing excellent support and training,” she said. “SMC Plus is an umbrella for various kinds of non-credit offerings. We’ll be launching Digital Advertising in January 2015 but that is really just the beginning — DestinyOne is a key factor is being able to easily develop and provide these types of courses to a broad audience.”

Temple’s non-credit offerings have increased between 25 and 30 percent in just the last few years and we anticipate that growth will continue,” said Westrick.

“Phase One of DestinyOne’s implementation will start with these programs but eventually there will be about 50 over the next few years,” she said. “For Phase 2, we’re looking at several Temple programs, youth and summer camp offerings at all of Temple’s campuses in particular — we anticipate we will have the camp registration system in place for summer 2015.”

Ease of use for a wide range of students — some of whom may not be familiar with using online services — is integral to the DestinyOne user experience, said Rhonda Geyer, Director of Non-Credit Programs with ONCE.

“From registering for a one-day workshop to a multi-session certificate program, we believe that the new DestinyOne system will make this process much easier for our students,” she said. “Non-credit students will have access to a new Student Portal where they will be able to view the courses they are registered for; view their past courses; order transcripts; make requests and more.”

Student and instructor portals — which will provide instructors and students a unique set of tools to ensure they can manage their courses and interests — will be accessible through noncredit.temple.edu.

“No one is going to feel like they’ve left Temple behind to look through the University’s continuing education offerings.  The DestinyOne program pages are fully integrated into Temple’s Web presence — they have the look and feel of temple.edu,” Westrick said. “Students will be able to search courses by name, subject, locations, date or one of eight areas of interest — those areas will certainly expand in the future.”

Interest categories include: 50+ Lifelong Learning; Conference and Special Events; Intensive English Language Programs; Personal Enrichment and Community; Professional and Licensure; Professional and Licensure — Healthcare; Temple University Employee Training; and Youth and Summer Camps.

“It definitely will help streamline the process of finding what you are interested in and registering,” Westrick said. “Temple University Employee Training, for example, replaces three systems and will provide a very easy way for staff and faculty to track their seminar and workshop participation and plan for the future.”

William Parshall, Director of Temple University Center City, anticipates that the new system will enable Temple to grow continuing education enrollments throughout the university.

“Temple University Center City is one of the leading providers of continuing education for real estate professionals and individual professional development,” he said. “DestinyOne allows us to combine the convenience of registering online with the transportation access of center city Philadelphia.”

DestinyOne is an ongoing project “that we hope all Temple departments and programs embrace when developing and promoting continuing education and non-credit offerings,” Westrick said.

“Each department and program remains in charge of its own content and courses — they can add short videos, testimonials, demonstrations and more to supplement their course material. DestinyOne is simply a platform to help them better serve their students and customers,” she said. “This is their opportunity to reach the largest audience and our opportunity to provide the public with a comprehensive way to search, register and pay for non-credit programs at Temple that will substantially enrich their personal and professional lives.”