Continuing Education (ContEd) at Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) started 23 years ago, and over the years has offered a variety of courses to tens of thousands of students. The program has truly grown into a center for lifelong learning for all ages. This April the program welcomed a new director, Justin Sanders, Ph.D.
Learning opportunities for “YOU”
As one of Japan’s oldest and largest providers of personal and professional development courses taught in English, TUJ Continuing Education offers hundreds of courses every year — from languages and art to business and IT. Sanders says the program targets anybody who wants to develop their skills or knowledge. Students range from high school students to working professionals; there’s no age limit to taking courses and achieving their goals.
Expert faculty from TUJ and elsewhere, together with the great diversity of students, enhance the learning experience. The program is committed to practical training and focuses on helping people “do things” rather than being solely academic. Networking is also a key component of the program. “Student-to-student interaction makes our program attractive. Students interact weekly with classmates with similar interests and develop networks that extend beyond ContEd courses,” said Sanders.
New campus, new environment
This fall TUJ and ContEd will move to the Showa Women’s University campus in Setagaya Ward in Tokyo. The move is a part of the super global campus project the two universities have been promoting. It is the first of its kind in Japan. Sanders sees this as a big change for ContEd after a long history of building strong ties with Minato Ward. ContEd is looking forward to building a new relationship with Sangen-jaya area and Setagaya Ward, and designing courses to meet the needs of businesses, professionals and community members in the surrounding area, as well as greater Tokyo. “This is the chance to revise our offerings to be more relevant to the community we are moving into, as well as a pathway to offer more flexible course designs catering to an even wider audience,” he said.
In conjunction with the move, ContEd will be offering discounts on all its courses for those who live or work in the surrounding area.
Being part of the loop: Tokyo – Shanghai – Hong Kong – Singapore
As TUJ moves to the new campus location just a 10-minute subway ride from Shibuya, Western Tokyo becomes a greater market for ContEd, but the story will not end there. In light of changes in how the world operates, Sanders projects ContEd’s growth and expansion into entrepreneurship and digital technologies. “We are a part of this international innovation community, including Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, and other East Asian powerhouses. So we hope to create more courses to foster and support innovation throughout the Tokyo area,” he said.
Running up to the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, ContEd will also offer more courses related to hospitality and tourism, marketing for small businesses, and world languages, including French, Korean, in addition to existing English, Chinese, and Japanese.
From Azerbaijan to Osaka…and now Tokyo
Prior to joining TUJ, Sanders spent 3 years in Osaka where he earned a Ph.D. in Education from the Graduate School of Human Sciences at Osaka University. With over 14 years in the international and higher education sectors, before coming to Japan, he held various positions including a Research Specialist for the International Baccalaureate, a leading global provider of international education programs and assessments. His extensive travel experience to over 40 countries also includes a two-year stint as a US Peace Corps Education Volunteer in Azerbaijan.
Sanders recalls why he decided to get into education. When he was an undergraduate, a political science professor asked the students to consider the major problems in the world and suggest what they saw as a potential solution. As Sanders considered terrorism, global warming, disease, hunger, and so on, he came to realize that every one of these issues could be addressed through education. He realized then that there wasn’t another career he could be satisfied with.