Division of Continuing Education
Dean Michael Shinagel
Academic Year 2010–2011
In 2010–2011, the Extension School’s 101st year, 13,486 students enrolled, accounting for 27,420 course enrollments and representing 121 countries. This constitutes a 2.6 percent decrease in students and a 4 percent decrease in enrollments from the previous year. Some of this slight decline can be attributed to purposeful efforts to reduce enrollments in areas of fiscal concern. Enrollments remain much higher than just five years ago (21,476), and the number of degree candidates topped 3,000 for the first time.
The Extension School offered more than 620 courses in the liberal arts and professional fields. While demand for management courses was lower than in previous years, enrollments in the natural and social sciences continued to be very strong. For the second year, courses offered in an intensive January session proved popular, accounting for 602 total enrollments, a 29 percent increase from the previous January.
In 2010–2011, distance course enrollments increased 8 percent over the previous year to 11,497, accounting for 42 percent of total course enrollment. The Extension School again offered a record number of online courses (171), including 41 Harvard College and Graduate School of Education courses and 21 web conference courses that enrolled students from around the world. The Extension School also hired a consulting firm to plan strategically for future growth in distance education.
One hundred forty years ago, Asa Gray first held his Summer School of Botany at Harvard. In 2010, Harvard Summer School enrolled 5,961 students, a 4 percent decrease from 2009. These students accounted for 7,960 course enrollments, a 4 percent decrease from the previous summer. Thirty-two percent of students were international, representing 101 nations. The Summer School Secondary School Program for academically motivated high school students remained strong, enrolling 1,227 students.
The Summer School offered nearly 300 on-campus courses and a small selection of distance education courses (14), providing students an opportunity to complete prerequisites and degree requirements and study unique subjects like Beginning Sanskrit. Twenty-five study abroad programs were offered in 18 countries, attended by 517 students. Study abroad programs were led by Harvard faculty and provided a rigorous educational experience for the 273 Harvard undergraduates and 9 graduate students who enrolled.
In its 34th year, the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement membership of 553 retired and semi-retired academics and professionals participated in 133 peer-led seminars.
The Division of Continuing Education (DCE) anticipates steady enrollments in the Extension School and the Summer School. Distance education and intensive January courses remain a source of growth, while the Summer School study abroad programs and premedical courses stay robust. The DCE continues to serve the educational needs of a diverse local, national, and international population while making an important contribution to the academic and financial well-being of the University.