The UCLA Empowered Extension program has long been a popular source of continuing education for adult students, operating as part of the UCLA academic network. The Extension program offers certificate programs, professional development and degree completion in a flexible environment that is appealing to working students. Empowered UCLA Extension brings a new level of interactivity and career counseling to students who opt into Empowered’s programs.
UCLA Empowered online programs utilize an iPad app specifically designed to deliver Extension programs to participants. Certificate programs across current, in-demand career fields are completed entirely on an iPad. Course videos, homework, group projects and interaction with instructors and peers are all possible on the Empowered app. Students who complete courses through this program receive the same UCLA certification as students who follow a more traditional path to professional development.
Typically, extension courses are completed in 9 to 12 months, and the courses available through Empowered are designed to enable professional skills enhancement or facilitate a career change. All courses are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), which also accredits UCLA. Certificate programs available via the UCLA Empowered online course programs include:
1. College Counseling
2. Global Sustainability
3. Human Resource Administration
4. Leadership in Health Care
5. Project Management
6. IT Management
7. Marketing & Media Fundamentals
8. Nonprofit Management
9. Patient Advocacy
10. Personal Financial Planning
Certificates generally require completion of 6 to 9 instructor-led classes. Classes are comprised of 10 to 35 students, and instructors interact heavily with students by providing individual feedback. Discussion groups with classmates also prepare students for essay assignments, special projects and testing. Only one course may be taken at a time and certificate program courses must be taken in sequence. Some certificates have no prerequisite requirements, while some require an associate or bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
Unique to traditional professional development programs, Empowered includes the Career Empowerment Program (CEP). Automatically offered with each Empowered course, this program aims to provide exceptional career counseling to its participants. A career counselor assigned to each student helps design a personally tailored curriculum from among 15 career development units. Career assessments, podcasts, webinars, videos and exercises are all conducted via the iPad app. Career counselors follow students for the length of the 24-month program, as long as online courses are successfully completed. Counseling includes tips on networking, resume development, career advice and job referrals.
All courses and career modules require an iPad, which is not provided by the university. Full and partial tuition scholarships are available in cases of demonstrated financial need; tuition balances are payable in monthly installments throughout the 24-month certificate program. For continued eligibility in Empowered programs, courses must be finished in a timely manner. New certificate programs begin four times per year.