James M. Shaeffer, Dean

Clair M. Dorsey, Executive Director

David Silvis, Director, English Language Center

The College of Continuing Education and Professional Development is focused on delivering practical, applied knowledge through its non-credit, and credit-bearing courses, certificates and certification preparatory classes. Staff in the college interact with each of the academic colleges to utilize the existing courses in an interdisciplinary fashion, frequently at the request of the military, businesses and various industry sectors.


To meet the evolving needs of our local, regional and global community via online and face-to-face offerings.  We help students, professionals and lifelong learners move ahead and stay ahead.


The College of Continuing Education and Professional Development will be the leader in engaging and inspiring students, professionals and lifelong learners to achieve their personal and professional goals.

Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Major in Leadership

The College of Continuing Education and Professional Development coordinates with the College of Arts and Letters to offer a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a major in Leadership.  For detailed information on the degree program, please refer to the College of Arts and Letters Interdisciplinary Studies section of this Catalog.

Center for Professional Studies

The primary mission of the Center for Professional Studies (CPS) is to develop interdisciplinary certificate programs targeted for specific groups of professionals.  The CPS will work across the ODU campus, including all academic colleges as well Distance Learning, in developing new multidisciplinary certificates.

English Language Center

The English Language Center (ELC) provides effective, quality instruction of English for non-native speakers. Students will improve their English language skills, gain confidence, develop critical reasoning skills, learn about American culture, and prepare for university-level courses.  The ELC’s rigorous full-time Intensive English Program is designed for students who want to develop the academic English proficiency necessary to succeed in ODU’s undergraduate and graduate programs. The ELC offers six seven-week sessions each year with program start dates in January, March, May, June, August, and October. During each week, full-time students spend at least 20 hours in class studying grammar, reading/vocabulary, speaking/listening, and writing.  Part-time learning opportunities are also available.

Conditionally admitted students can join the ELC’s Monarch English Transition Program (formerly known as the Bridge Program). The Undergraduate and Graduate Monarch English Transition (MET) Programs combine two English language support courses with one to two courses in the student’s academic field.  Conditionally admitted students may enter the MET by successfully meeting the level 5 exit requirements of the Intensive English Program or by scoring a 500 on the TOEFL ITP, 61 on the TOEFL iBT, or 5.5 on the IELTS.  Successful completion of the semester-long MET Program satisfies the University’s English proficiency requirement.

The ELC administers the institutional TOEFL and SPEAK exams several times a year.  TOEFL and GRE preparation courses are also available. For more information, please visit the ELC website at and contact the ELC (ELC@ODU.EDU, 757-683-4424).  Admission and subsequent enrollment in ELC courses do not imply admission to the University.

Continuing Education Programs

Executive Development Program. The mission of this unit is to provide businesses, organizations, and individuals with high quality professional development and continuing education programs in virtually all areas of business, management, and executive education. The unit offers public programs for individuals seeking professional certificate programs, preparation for certification exams, career advancement and career change. In addition, the unit develops and delivers custom programs and consulting services to meet specific organizational and employee development needs of businesses and organizations regionally, nationally and internationally.

Education Programs and Career Switchers Program.  The purpose of this unit is to extend to the community special conferences, workshops, seminars, in-service training, and short courses. Drawing on the faculty of the academic colleges and experts in the field, programs are designed in areas such as leadership, counseling/interpersonal skills, learning and curriculum design, training and development, health education, and physical fitness. Clients consist of educators as well as professionals in business, industry, and public, private and governmental agencies. Programs are designed to help professionals increase and upgrade their development activities. Professional and personal development programs are awarded continuing education credit (CEUs).

Continuing Education Programs in Engineering.  This unit offers certificates, workshops, courses and conferences.  The courses are designed primarily for adult learners in content and logistics. Most courses are delivered in the late afternoon to early evening at a variety of locations and are delivered online.  The courses are delivered in an open enrollment format (open to the general public) as well as in contract training settings.

Continuing Education Programs in Health Sciences.  Short courses, national conferences, workshops, refresher courses, certificate programs and seminars are offered by the different schools in the College of Health Sciences on and off campus on a noncredit continuing education (CEU) basis. Professional continuing education programs cover a wide range of topics, including environmental health, occupational safety, industrial hygiene, dental hygiene, dental assisting, nursing, nuclear medicine technology, health-care management, medical technology, physical therapy, and community health.

Continuing education serves the following functions:

    Licensure and certification for professionals and practitioners,

    Credential and degree achievement and

    Professional development to update knowledge and skills.

Clientele served by the programs include nursing, public health and allied health professionals, human service workers, managers and supervisory personnel, technicians, laboratory personnel, and health educators.


CPS 395. Topics. 1-3 Credits.

The study of selected topics which, due to their specialized nature, may not be offered regularly. These courses will appear in the course schedule. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of the instructor.

CPS 410. Leadership Ethics. 3 Credits.

This course examines how ethical principles can be used to guide effective leadership practices. Students will gain an understanding of how ethical principles in the workplace have developed over time. They will also explore the connections between individual ethics and workplace behaviors, in addition to leadership strategies that promote ethical behavior by workers. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of the instructor.

CPS 412. Leadership and Law. 3 Credits.

This course addresses leadership in public, private, and non-profit organizations relative to laws that impact such organizations. Students will examine their role as leaders within legal systems that influence business operations such as employment law, intellectual property, antitrust, white collar crime, and bankruptcy. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of the instructor.

CPS 495. Topics. 1-3 Credits.

The advanced study of selected topics which, due to their specialized nature, may not be offered regularly. These courses will appear in the course schedule. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of the instructor.