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Manager, Client Development and Learner Services

Department: Centre for Extended Learning Effective Date: August 1, 2011

USG 11

35 hr/wk

Reports to: Director, Centre for Extended Learning

General Accountability

The Manager, Client Development and Learner Services (Manager) is accountable to the Director, Centre for Extended Learning (CEL) for developing strategies targeted for the adult learner that will significantly contribute to growth of CEL activities (enrolments, PD revenues)—necessary for the ongoing success of the unit. The Manager will represent the Director and CEL on a variety of university committees related to admissions, enrolment management, student success, etc.  The Manager is an important link to other units across campus who share responsibility for student and client service, and it is important that the Manager provide input and guidance to advocate for the evolution of programs and supports available at the university to ensure they meet the unique needs of adult and distant learners.  The Manager will work closely with key representatives from areas across campus (such as Faculty outreach and external relations roles, communications and marketing managers, etc.) and units within CEL in developing and directing strategies related to recruitment of adult learners, and student and client services.

The Manager provides leadership to, and is supported by the Learner Support Services (LSS) team.  The LSS team must remain current and well versed about the programs and supports available at Waterloo, the technologies being used to deliver programs, communications, and marketing, and with a variety of policies and procedures at Waterloo (including those related to examinations). 

Other positions reporting to the CEL Director include three Associate Directors (Online Learning, Professional Development, and Systems), and an Administrative Assistant.  There are three or four Learner Support Specialists, the Supervisor, Assignments, Distribution, and Examinations (ADE), and occasional contract support staff reporting to the Manager, Learner Support Services.  The Manager is a part of the CEL management team and represents CEL on a variety of campus committees.

Nature and Scope

The University’s Centre for Extended Learning has responsibility for the adult learner cohort.  Adult learners may be pursuing degree or non-degree programs (typically part time), or may be taking a professional development course or certificate.  They may be studying online or in a classroom, or may be participating in a customized training session offered by uWaterloo in their workplace.  CEL is mandated to grow enrolments by this cohort (particularly in PD offerings), and has an important advocacy role for the part-time adult learner across campus.

CEL supports the design, development, and delivery of online credit courses as well as a growing non-credit Professional Development (PD) program. Online credit courses (graduate and undergraduate) are offered during all three academic terms, and in this context CEL clients include both instructors and students. Degree, diploma, and certificate programs are available entirely online, with growth occurring in graduate degrees. A number of additional programs are available for the adult part-time learner who is able to attend campus classes.  The PD program offers face-to-face as well as online courses and certificate programs in a variety of professional development topics. Customized offerings are created and delivered to area businesses, non-profit organizations and professional associations. Thus, the Manager is concerned with several client groups:  adult part time and distant learners, online students, working professionals, and corporate clients.  The Manager will be accountable for effective services and support for each group, and for raising awareness of CEL activities and services to internal and external stakeholders.

The University’s 6th Decade Plan calls for a diversification of revenue streams, and to support this the CE Strategic Planning Committee called for a significant increase in revenues in new areas of business related to Professional Development.  It is expected that a significant proportion of this new business will be achieved through new corporate partnerships and business relationships with relevant professional associations (e.g., Society for Certified Management Accountants, Professional Engineers of Ontario, Canadian Pharmacists Association).  The ability for CEL’s Professional Development unit to attract and retain new clients will depend upon a solid strategic action plan and effective strategies to meet and exceed client expectations.  The Manager, LSS, must know the lexicon of the professional development field/sector, and must advise the Director and the Associate Director Professional Development on strategies to achieve these growth goals, spearhead marketing efforts, develop community outreach opportunities, and promote CEL learning opportunities both internally and externally.

The Manager will be instrumental in developing and delivering CEL branding messages to promote programs and courses, and will enlist the help of the Communications Coordinator to develop and direct strategies and messaging targeted to prospective clients, students, PD classroom participants, businesses, instructors, and campus constituents.  Communication strategies will include a variety of delivery media (i.e., print, web, social media, events) and will be targeted to our broad client demographic (spanning a wide age range, variety of occupations, and geographic dispersion).  The Manager will be responsible for helping to guide and implement strategies for marketing CEL products and services to adult learners and the business world, as well as to increase and maintain awareness within the campus community. The Manager will also contribute to and support CEL marketing and communication goals, and will provide leadership on market research and customer satisfaction projects.

The Manager is responsible for effectively leading, developing, and coaching the LSS team (the ADE Supervisor and the Learner Support Specialists).  The environment within which they function is continuously changing—including policies, programs, and technologies—and they must be knowledgeable and enthusiastic in a very broad array of areas.  The LSS team is the first point of contact for individuals (typically adult learners) looking for information about both credit and non-credit (professional development) program offerings. The team provides information and encouragement to individuals involved in or considering the various programs administered by CEL and at the University. This covers all aspects of the programs, including admission requirements, registration procedures, costs, final examinations and other Waterloo policies, procedures, and supports available. The team provides the first level of technical support for online students/clients, and guidance for clients in the use of two significant corporate systems: Waterloo’s Student Information and Learning Management systems.  The Manager and the LSS team are also responsible for the management and analysis of customer relationship data in the PD Registration system and for identifying ways to improve this system.  The team is responsible for creating and distributing some marketing, communication and instructional materials related to the programs.

The Supervisor ADE, under the direction of the Manager, is responsible for the administration of approximately 15,000 examinations annually, and several dozen rescheduled examinations each term, written at about 50 examination centres across the country, or with an individual proctor. Centre for Extended Learning examination activities must adhere to University regulations pertaining to examinations, taking into consideration the special circumstances of online/distant students. The Manager will be called upon to make decisions in situations that fall outside the norm with respect to student requests to reschedule exams or change exam locations. The Manager may, from time to time, recommend review of existing Waterloo policies as they pertain to students enrolled in online courses.  The Manager will ensure that all processes are continually reviewed for potential improvements in exam integrity, and will liaise with the Registrar’s Office and the Undergraduate Associate Deans related to policy/procedure concerns or suggested revisions.

Some courses require distribution of materials to students or clients.  This may include duplication and distribution of CDs and other learning materials.  Contact information is maintained in either the Student Administration System, or the PD Registration system.

The Manager guides and coaches LSS team members and occasionally other contract support, and looks after all aspects of recruitment and performance development for the team. The Manager will ensure the LSS team has appropriate resources and development opportunities enabling them to provide top quality information and support to CEL clients. The Manager will work with the PD Program Coordinator to ensure efficient and effective operation of various PD programs. In addition, the Manager will be responsible for tracking predictors of student success and satisfaction among all stakeholders with their experience and service provided by CEL, using various analytics tools, including surveys and system-generated data.  The Manager will be responsible for analyzing and interpreting the data and modifying support strategies in response to identified needs. Such assessments will also be fed back to the CEL Course Production and Systems teams, as well as others outside of the office, to inspire continuous improvement.


Statistical Data

CEL Staff:  35 regular FTEs, 10 to 12 contract positions, plus co-op and/or work placement students

Course offerings: Total number of online credit courses available 260.  Total number of non-credit courses available is 200.  Approximately 120 credit and 190 non-credit courses are offered in each of the Fall & Winter terms; 70 credit and 170 non-credit in the Spring term.

Students:  Over 9,000 students take at least one online credit course each year; well more than half of these students are enrolled full-time on campus.  Approximately 1,500 clients enrol in at least one non-credit course each year.

Enrolments:  17,000 online credit course registrations annually (65% in Faculty of Arts courses); 2,000 non-credit course registrations annually (75% in online courses).

Final Examinations:  15,000 annually; 50 examination centres; approximately 75-100 rescheduled examinations each term.

PD Clients:  Data for approximately 30,000 clients managed in PD Registration System.

Corporate Training Contracts:  20, with 5-8 organizations active each year.

Current PD Revenues:  $1.2 Million

Monthly Deposits:  approximately $40,000 per month in cash, debit, cheques, VISA and MasterCard.

Specific Accountabilities

Working Conditions

Some flexibility in scheduling required, including occasional evening and weekend hours.