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UCI Division of Continuing Education Celebrates Fifty Years

IRVINE, Calif. – October 27, 2011 – The University of California, Irvine Extension today announced the 50th anniversary of providing continuing education, a significant milestone highlighting five decades serving the higher education needs of individuals and businesses.

In celebration of its 50-year milestone, the continuing education arm of UC Irvine is planning to organize a series of special events and projects to unite alumni, students, faculty, and staff from across the campus and around the world. The goal is to honor the past achievements of the school and alumni as well as share new endeavors that UC Irvine Extension, its students and faculty will be leading.

“We celebrate 50 years of changing our students’ lives,” said Gary W. Matkin, UC Irvine’s dean of Continuing Education, Distance Learning and Summer Session. “Extension programs have a great history of innovation, in meeting the needs of adult learners and supporting the growth of our city and region.”

“Extension Changed My Life”: 50 Years, 50 Stories Project

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, UC Irvine Extension is recognizing past and present achievements of those who Extension has served over the past five decades. A unique and innovative contest, hosted on the institution’s Facebook page, invites past and present students, faculty and staff to share how Extension has affected their lives – whether through professional advancement or personal enrichment. In 1962, with the planning and construction of the new UC campus in Irvine underway, the Extension programs were the first to carry the name of the University of California, Irvine. By the fall of 1965, when UC Irvine accepted its first undergraduate students, UC Irvine Extension had already enrolled more than 6,000 adult learners

“Our 50th anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate these stories,” said Scott Rutherford, Director of Marketing for UC Irvine Extension. “Participation is open to everyone. Fifty stories will be selected and featured as part of this initiative, with thank-you gifts provided for those whose stories are chosen.”

50 Years of Contributions to Personal, Professional and Community Growth

Some of the top accomplishments of UC Irvine Extension through the years include:

Online Education: UC Irvine Extension is an innovator in online education, and was central in the formation of the UC Irvine Distance Learning Center. Today, most Extension classes include online learning components, and approximately half can be taken entirely online.

Global Learning: UC Irvine, through the efforts of UC Irvine Extension, was the first University of California campus – and the first university on the west coast – to join the OpenCourseWare (OCW) Consortium. With its ongoing participation, the institution continues to make university level courses freely available to the public through its OCW site ( Additionally, its International Programs provide a bridge for international students wishing to pursue professional or university preparation training.

Community Contributions: UC Irvine Extension continues to contribute to the economic vitality and enrichment of the local community, a tradition with roots in the institution’s early initiatives in the 1960s and 1970s focused on the issues of poverty, community development and planning. Today, UC Irvine Extension continues its focus on community programs, including an active program of classes and seminars through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (

Supporting Business: In addition to its many professional development courses and certificate programs offered to individuals (, UC Irvine Extension provides customized, university level instruction to businesses locally and worldwide through its Corporate Training program. Its client roster includes Advanced Medical Optics, Beckman Coulter, Boeing, Conexant, Northrop Grumman, Southern California Edison, Parker Aerospace and the County of Orange, among many others (

Today, UC Irvine Extension enrolls more than 14,000 students a year and maintains a catalog of more than 55 certificate and specialized studies programs comprised of more than 3,500 classes, conducted on campus and online. Popular certificate programs include project management, as well as programs for educators, paralegals, appraisers and other professionals.

About UCI Division of Continuing Education

The University of California, Irvine Division of Continuing Education (DCE) provides lifelong learning opportunities to thousands of students worldwide each year – fulfilling the school’s 60-year curriculum platform to connect degree programs to the world of work and achievement after graduation. The Division offers a broad range of certificate programs, specialized studies, and sequential courses to local, regional and global markets through online, on-campus and on-site delivery. A leader in the open education movement, the Division offers free Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) and content through the UCI Open initiative. For more information about UCI Division of Continuing Education, visit

About the University of California, Irvine

Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation, and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit