Academics and Research

DU’s Center for Professional Development establishes new model for continuing education

Opened in March 2015, the University of Denver’s Center for Professional Development (CPD) provides a variety of programming for working professionals in the Denver community. A collaborative effort between DU’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology, Graduate School of Social Work, Morgridge College of Education and University College, the CPD provides training and resources for licensed professionals in Colorado who need continuing education credits to further their careers and maintain their licensure. Most often, courses are geared toward educators, mental health providers and those in legal professions.

“DU’s Center for Professional Development provides trusted content from world-class experts across disciplines,” says CPD Assistant Director Shannon Gray. “We consider complex issues from a variety of perspectives to offer the continuing education options necessary for career advancement, no matter where professionals are in their careers.”

The CPD model emphasizes the benefits of interprofessional learning. Courses and lectures are often organized topically so that professionals in a variety of fields may interact. With a cross-section of professionals attending the events, networking and mentoring are also woven into the programming.

“DU is on the map for so many reasons, but I think this interprofessional space is totally new in human services and behavioral health”, says Kim Gorgens, the center’s executive director and a clinical associate professor in DU’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology.

The upcoming Marijuana Summit on April 20 is an example of the CPD’s interprofessional and interdisciplinary approach to engaged community learning. The summit will feature experts from DU as well as national experts presenting on the legal, business, psychological, and biological effects of marijuana legalization.

“We have an abundance of subject matter experts at DU who have been pioneering the field of marijuana business, economics, law and legislative policy,” Gorgens says. “This summit is a great way to position DU as a leading voice within this growing societal evolution.”

Additionally, the CPD’s upcoming Compassion in Action Workshop (April 18) features keynote speaker Anuradha Bhosale, founder of the Women and Child Rights Campaign in India. Says Gray, “This will be an opportunity for anyone interested in social justice to come together for both inspiration and practical ways to embody compassion.”

In addition to the CPD’s credentialed courses designed with professionals in mind, the center also offers a monthly “Brain Rounds” lecture series. Gorgens wants these lectures to attract an intellectually curious general audience — a mixture of students, staff, faculty and community members. Delivered by thought leaders in neurology, psychology, biology and neuroscience, the interdisciplinary lectures often present groundbreaking research.

“Both DU and Front Range communities can now access this incredible science and research, years before it hits the journals or the front page news,” Gorgens says.

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