Christi Harter Brings Connectivity to New Role

December 15, 2023

Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) at EWU recently welcomed Christi Harter as its new assistant vice president.

In her new role, Harter, who holds a doctoral degree in educational technology from University of Northern Colorado, will help the unit develop innovative programs that serve the workforce and community. She previously worked in a similar role as vice president of education and talent for Greater Spokane Inc.

“Christi brings great experience and connections with industry throughout the region, understanding regional needs from her work at Greater Spokane Inc.,” says Jackie Coomes, interim vice provost at EWU.

Further strengthening the team is the arrival of Ashley Stettler, who joined the unit as business manager, transferring from EWU Records and Registration.

PCE offers working professionals the opportunity to earn clock hours, professional certifications, and continuing education units, in addition to providing offerings that support personal enrichment for the entire community.

Harter is re-envisioning and building the unit using up-to-date design principles based on current adult professional and continuing education learning needs and national standards for continuing education, Coomes says.

The team has already hit the ground running. In November, Harter, Stettler and Coomes convened four different focus groups that included EWU faculty, staff, and community partners. The goal was to gain insight on creating a 2023-2026 EWU Professional and Continuing Education Strategic Plan that supports regional workforce needs.

Coomes says the team hopes to create opportunities for adults to “upskill” so they can pursue higher-level jobs or new careers throughout the region. PCE students will also be able to network with others with shared interests.

The restructure has been in the works since late fall 2022, when a cross-departmental task force gathered to discuss how to build a robust PCE unit. The task force identified the needed staff and worked with IT to select a continuing education online platform, called CampusCE, that will integrate with Banner to streamline the application process and make programs more accessible to students.

PCE is currently working on a strategic plan with internal and external stakeholders. “We are on track to deploy programs that are in demand, and for which our faculty have strengths, such as recreation therapy, design and GIS [Geographic Information Systems],” Coomes says.

A handful of PCE program options are evolving to ensure that the right models are established to serve student and work-force needs. The PCE team will update the university community as the processes and program opportunities are developed.

“I think this unit will help EWU fulfill its mission as the region’s go-to place for workforce development, and continue to help us meet employer demand – and Dr. Harter has the drive and talent to get us there,” says Coomes.

**Visit the PCE webpage to learn more. The PCE unit is housed in Showalter 217.