Benerd Fall Highlights


The overarching theme in our efforts is our desire to create innovative pathways and learning environments that offer flexibility to our students. We know that an ever-increasing percentage of our students are what used to be called “non-traditional,” not the traditional 18-year-old coming directly from high school. Our goal is to provide educational opportunities for adults wishing to get their degree, to enhance their professional opportunities, or to gain the knowledge skills, and abilities to change careers.

We are working to improve and expand our renowned teacher preparation program. Last year we piloted our “Tiger Teach” teacher education residency program with Manteca Unified. Students spend a full year in the classroom supported by a mentor teacher, a university supervisor and a site supervisor. This type of model represents a new way to ensure our students are the best trained teachers who are prepared to “hit the ground running” when they enter their first year of solo teaching. Unlike many of our peer institutions where a five-year pathway is required for a degree plus credential, a student at Benerd can graduate in four years with their degree and credential. This places them in a job one year earlier than their peers. We are working to bring the program to Lodi Unified and Stockton Unified school districts and are partnering with Delta Community College to create a 2+2 pipeline for local students who want to be educators.

Our graduate 12-month Masters hybrid program with credential launched in Summer 2020 and we exceeded our enrollment predictions and have experienced tremendous interest for our next summer cohort. In this program, a student can gain their Masters + credential in 12 months. The program offers maximum flexibility by offering much of the learning online with weekend residencies that provide the face-to-face (or remote learning during COVID) learning that is the hallmark of the Pacific experience.

Our degree completion program in Organizational Leadership is more than 25 years strong and thriving. This program is an accelerated course of study that allows adult learners who have started their bachelor’s to complete their degree in 20 months. We introduced a hybrid pathway where students do most of their learning online and come to campus for weekend face-to-face instruction. Our retention and graduation rates for this program exceeds 80 percent!

Our Transformative Action in Education (TAE) doctoral program launched its second cohort. This program is designed for those interested in being transformative leaders who understand that change comes through a critically reflective process. TAE strives to understand the inequities in our systems and disrupt them, and provide an experience unlike any other doctoral program.

Likewise, our Sacramento programs (MA and EDD) continue to experience strong enrollment as do our EDD and EDS degrees. All of these programs use online and hybrid teaching modalities to be flexible for our students. Both programs are focused on real-world problems in real organizational settings and equip students with innovative action-oriented tools and processes (design thinking, lean startup, etc.) to bring human-centered change within organizations.

Benerd’s certificate program in Substance Abuse Counseling was honored by the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CAPPP) with their Spotlight Award. The award is given to a school that “has made an outstanding contribution to substance use disorder counselor education and/or continuing education.” We are thrilled our programs have received the support of our peers. In 2017, we were honored by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) West with the Outstanding Non-Credit Program award for our Animal Shelter Management certificate.

We are growing as a leading provider of continuing education and professional development for educators around the country. Last year our enrollment in these programs closed in on 25,000. This represents continuous growth for those programs.

Benerd houses Pacific’s Osher Lifelong Learning program (OLLI). Over the past two years, we have seen membership grow, received grants to expand our membership, and raised tens of thousands of dollars to enhance and grow the program. OLLI is perhaps one of our best community outreach programs. It is geared toward those 50+ years of age and provides learning and engagement opportunities—something that has proven powerful during COVID and the resulting forced isolation many are experiencing.