On February 12, 2015, the University Professional and Continuing Education Association announced Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies’ Center for Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) as the 2015 recipient of the 11th Hour Award for Leadership in Times of Crisis for the Furloughed Government Employee program of October 2013.
The award is given to an individual or team “in recognition of exemplary character, ethics, and decisive action in times of crisis, defined as a threat to the organization or institution, sudden or unexpected change, evident need for response, and limited time to make decisions.”
The Furloughed Government Employee program was devised by Deputy Dean Walter Rankin, Ph.D, who reacted quickly to plan professional courses for furloughed workers, free of charge.
“Our leadership team could only imagine the stress that furloughed workers and their families were under at this time,” said Dr. Rankin. “We wanted to be good community partners and assist them in any way that we could during this time of uncertainty. We worked together to develop professional development courses that were focused and provided academic and professional content that could be immediately applicable once the furlough ended.”
675 furloughed federal employees and contractors enrolled in free courses and seminars at SCS during the 16-day federal government shutdown. Nineteen courses were offered over a two-week period in subject areas such as project management, leadership development, and social media.
Furloughed employees who took part in the courses represented a broad spectrum of government workers and contractors, including those working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the FBI, the Department of Labor, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Parks Service.
“Looking back, this was our way to give our government community partners a look at the professional development options that we provide at Georgetown CCPE, while enabling the furloughed employees to stay connected and engaged while they were away from work,” said Amy Levine, Director of Programs and Enrollment Management. “With Deputy Dean Rankin and the rest of SCS’s staff who contributed to making this program a reality, we proudly accept this award and look forward to continued partnerships with federal government employees.”