About Us

Online and Continuing Education: Powering New Pathways

Who We Are

Online and Continuing Education is the University of Alberta's hub for continuing and professional education, offering both individual courses and full credentialed programs tailored to individuals in different stages of their careers and personal lives. We cater to learners who want to advance their careers while also working full-time jobs.

Online and Continuing Education develops and delivers more than 300 courses and 50+ continuing and professional education programs to 7,000 adult learners, with over a thousand classes offered every year.

Areas of programming include technology, business and leadership, communications, public sector, applied sciences, Indigenous relations, languages, arts, and more. Programs range from short professional development microcredentials to full certificates and diplomas.

Our Mission

Our mission is to advance personal, professional, and academic growth through enriching learning experiences. Our learners shape the future.

How We Work

Online and Continuing Education plays an important role in connecting the U of A to the surrounding community and the industries that help to shape Alberta’s economy. We work collaboratively with other Faculties and educational institutions, community and professional associations, business organizations, and public agencies to promote responsive community-university engagement through a wide range of innovative learning opportunities and citizenship activities.

Online and Continuing Education learners, our partners in learning, benefit from the expertise of more than 200 experts in their fields and by earning credentials, completing studies through flexible schedules and delivery methods, advancing their careers, and enriching their lives. Beyond this, their commitment to continuing and professional education benefits their communities by generating new ideas and promoting innovation in a knowledge-based economy.

Our History

In 1912, when the University of Alberta was still a young institution, its President Henry Marshall Tory charged his protégé A.E. Ottewell with the task of “bringing the University to the people,” putting him at the helm of what was then known as the Department of Extension.

With time the department expanded, eventually leading to the creation of the Faculty of Extension (now Online and Continuing Education). Today, what was once travelling libraries, “magic lantern” shows, and free public lectures in rural Alberta is a multi-faceted agent of continuing and professional education and English language learning locally, nationally, and internationally.

These deep roots keep us grounded and give us a strong and unique foundation to work from. We know that we must grow and adapt in much the same way that our learners do each and every day, but change—like everything we do—is still guided by those basic principles. We remain firmly focused on what’s next, because we know that the futures of both learning and work are fluid. We also remain dedicated to empowering our learners to enhance their lives, academics, and careers in ways that are challenging, fulfilling, and contribute to a better and more sustainable world.

Strategic Plan
Continuing &
Professional Education
Corporate Learning