In 1954, the directors of extension and summer schools at several Canadian universities formed an association to promote their common interests. Coincident with increasing membership, new demands for adult learning and a variety of institutional responses, the Canadian Association of Directors of Extension and Summer School (CADESS) expanded its activities over the next two decades. In 1974, CADESS changed its name to the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE).

Our Mission

Working in the spirit of advancing learning and workplace readiness in 21st century Canada, CAUCE is dedicated to supporting the success of our members in serving professional and adult learners and diverse learning communities; we foster best practices in lifelong teaching and learning, flexible learning models, including online learning, and university community engagement.

Our Mandate

  • We promote activities aimed at fostering a greater role for universities in responding to Canada’s needs for training and retraining;

  • We participate in forums affecting educational policy-making; acting as an advocate for expanding lifelong learning opportunities;

  • We sponsor research aimed at applying theoretical and empirical analysis to improving professional practice in continuing education;

  • We recognize, through awards and honors, outstanding contributions to the field of university continuing education;

  • We offer conferences, professional development activities, publications and communication networks designed to leverage the successful efforts of individuals and institutions in order to promote the collective advancement of continuing education.

President’s Message

I feel privileged to serve as President of the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE) for 2019-20.  I have enjoyed the experience working for this member-based organization in my previous roles on the executive committee and as the chair of the research and scholarship committee. My focus for the following year will be to:

  • Work with the executive committee to achieve the objectives identified in our strategic plan for 2019-20;
  • Promote and support the national skills agenda;
  • Maintain our focus in national advocacy through supporting initiatives and dialogue with organizations such as Universities Canada and the Future Skills Centre;
  • Support and develop new partnerships with related associations such as CASAE, CSHHE, UPCEA, and others as well as industry organizations;
  • Ensure that as a practice we continue to grow, discover, create and collaborate.

At our 2019 conference in Hamilton, Ontario one of the concurrent sessions focused on discussions about our Communities of Practice. Several new approaches and ideas were raised, including a suggestion for the development of a Partnership Community of Practice. The organizing team will be forwarding recommendations to the executive committee for further discussion and action.  Opportunities for dialogue that support and foster our practice is an important hallmark of this organization.

Other initiatives in progress include a survey to the membership about an introductory course on continuing education (CE 101) and about our role in research and scholarly activity.  A survey relating to research support and activity has been sent to other continuing/further education organizations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.  A summary of the results will be shared when available.

I feel fortunate to be able to call on the expertise of former CAUCE presidents to continue to serve this organization.  A number of members have volunteered to represent our organization on national committees and working groups focusing on external relations and advocacy.

I think that the work we do just keeps on getting more interesting. I also think that much of our success as a national organization of university continuing educators comes from the strength and diversity of our network; the dedication of our secretariat and the energy of our members.  All of this creates the glue that has helped us to thrive for the past 65 years as a professional continuing education organization. 

I acknowledge Carolyn Young for her hard work, focus and dedication for CAUCE over the past year as president. I am looking forward to working with her in her capacity as past president and with the rest of the executive committee: Ian Allen, president-elect; Sheila LeBlanc, secretary-treasurer; Aldo Caputo, central representative; Christie Schultz, western representative and Belinda Elliot-Bielecki, eastern representative. 

Heather McRae

Dean, School of Continuing Education, MacEwen University
President, Canadian Association for University Continuing Education, 2019-20