1991 - 1993: The beginning of a community outreach program
In the early 1990s, the Continuing Education Department (CED) was established as a training center and community outreach program. The department initially concentrated on computer literacy, issuing over 400 professional certificates in computer literacy to trainees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and establishing partnerships with three university networks: (European University Continuing Education Network, Learning Resources Network and International Association for Continuing Education).
1993 – 1995: Intense human resource development
In 1993, the CED began to develop longer-term specialized diploma programs which targeted sustainability, in cooperation with international institutions and universities. The Department also expanded its training strategy to incorporate more specialized, technical training in public and general management, gender, community development, urban planning, and micro-industries development, in response to emerging market needs.
1995–1998: Expansion to institutional capacity building
CED subsequently expanded its work to serve all four sectors of society: private, public, social services, and NGOs. In 1997, CED introduced specialized diploma programs in NGO Management and Marketing, counseling and community intervention and commercial management. CED also began working with ministries, Palestinian Legislative Council and other public entities on training needs assessment and parallel capacity building programs.
1998: Name Change CED To CCE
In 1998, CED officially changed its name to the Center for Continuing Education (CCE), with the aim of "developing human resources and building individual and institutional capacities”.
1999 – 2001: Focus on the private and psycho-social sector
In this phase, CCE continued to develop programs focused on the private sector and enterprise development (particularly in entrepreneurship) and further developed its diploma and certificate programs for the Psycho-Social sector. The CCE also began to offer customized computer training programs to the local market, and certification for technical support specialists. Also in this phase, CCE launched the innovative Across Borders program, utilizing technology to develop networking opportunities and community amongst geographically separated Palestinian refugee communities.
2002 - 2004: Focus on public sector reform and learning innovation strategies
During this period, CCE initiated a new training program teaching middle school students to start their own business ("Ventures"). The Center also developed a specialized diploma program in Information Technology, but stopped offering customized programs in computer training to the local market when private sector training providers took on this role - as CCE participation in this area no longer provided added value. CCE introduced e-learning tools to the West Bank in this phase, and began to explore the integration of technology into training methodology; CCE also began to explore a series of innovative models and methods, evolving as an organization, as it constructed and built upon new knowledge. CCE continued to strengthen its presence in public sector reform and NGO capacity building and to develop and expand its work on psychosocial programs, making CCE the national address for professional development and training for social workers and school counselors.
2004 - 2006: A center of excellence in professional education, professional training and community development
Since 2004, the CCE’s has focused on development as a center of excellence in professional education, to serve as a national educational research center and a show case for best-practices in professional training and community development, and strengthen Palestinian capacity in training and organizational development, nationally and regionally. This involved intense work on the CCE’s internal organizational structure, and development of new innovative learning models and methodologies in training, consultancy, e-curriculum development, the psycho-social ream and in education. This also involved a shift to five key areas: research and development, training delivery, organizational development services, dissemination of information and best practices in education and training, and sectoral networking. In this phase, the CCE continued to implement NGO management and Marketing diplomas in response to the growing needs of private and NGO sectors. The Center’s public sector and civil service reform program worked directly with governmental entities and the civil society on issues related to re-structuring and organizational change, leading to cost-savings, greater efficiencies and increased productivity for thousands of public employees. In this period, the CCE became renowned for the creation and implementation of three ongoing, state of the art professional in-service diploma courses: school counseling, counseling supervision and family counseling - with focus on child-protection.
2007 - 2012
During this period, CCE’s emphasis was on the following key areas:
i) Community empowerment and development – where we engaged in the development of Palestine specific model in community developed and applied to several hundred communities, engaging in joint planning – using participatory approaches, and facilitating the planning process (rather than conducting it on their behalf) One of the key projects in that area was the Village and Neighborhood Program with the World Bank.
ii) CCE also worked heavily on developing a model for measuring poverty (a poverty score card specific to the Palestinian context), and to design programs and interventions for economic empowerment for deprived families. A significant part of this work was carried out in partnership with DEEP (Deprived Families Economic Empowerment Program) with the UNDP.
iii) CCE continued to work on private sector development and professional training programs targeting the various sectors; and iv) CCE expanded and developed its programs in learning innovation, launching Schools.21 and other programs integrating new learning paradigms into higher educational models.
2013 – 2018
CCE invested heavily in scaling-up some of its learning innovation models, entrepreneurship and enterprising and engaged directly within the University community – providing programs and interfaces with the community and supporting entrepreneurship. The xLOBs model was developed. Extensive development, piloting and research took place, and finally the model was adopted for large scale deployment by the Ministry of Education. During this period models in enterprising and entrepreneurship were developed by CCE – where focus was on mentoring and supporting Micro enterprises and entrepreneurs develop rather than a mass training model. This culminated into the creation of the B-Hub. Also in this period, CCE joint the administration in developing major co-curricular programs for all University students with a strong interface component with the community. MASARI and the B-Hub are two such models.
2018 – 2022
CCE plans are to expand work on xLOBs, developing new models, integrating low-cost technologies, developing new programs in new learning paradigms – using non-conventional, non-traditional educational models, that are in line with the fast changes in communications, knowledge availability, creation and dissemination. Focusing on professional development – again using non-traditional model – that are efficient, effective and can provide learning at scale. Innovation, networking and partnerships will be the key drivers for our work.