Remaining Professionally Resilient

2020 Professional Education Impact Report

A Letter from Dean Baker

The past year brought a myriad of challenges both collective and personal for us at Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE) as well as to our many learners and stakeholders. At the same time, I’ve been so encouraged by the incredible perseverance and resilience shown by our faculty and staff and students.  As the Institute’s global campus and lifetime learning arm, GTPE has been proud to leverage our expertise in online and distance learning to support faculty across Georgia Tech during their transition to full-time remote delivery due to Covid-19. Our long history with online education was pivotal in helping others adapt and preserve academic excellence during an unprecedented global health crisis.

We also remained persistent in our goal of defining and elevating the importance of lifetime education.

Given the uncertain landscape, our continued thought leadership about the impact of online education, now and in preparation for a future that is coming faster than any of us could have predicted, has been particularly timely.  

We have also witnessed a steadfast pursuit of advancement from the working professionals and adult learners we serve. Some were online learning veterans, while others were new to remote and virtual learning, but all were forced to balance the upheaval in their personal and professional lives with the demands of earning a degree or other credential in order to accomplish their goals.  

And while there are many challenges still facing us as we move into 2021, I am inspired by the work we have done to reimagine a GTPE of the future - an organization that is Digital First and perpetually evolving to support the educational needs of a global workforce through innovation, accessibility, and lifetime education.

Nelson Baker, dean of professional education


Nelson Baker's signature



Nelson C. Baker
Dean, Professional Education


High-Quality Programs

Deliver high-quality, in-demand programs to advance careers and address workforce needs

GTPE is the Institute’s global campus and lifetime education arm, providing continuing education for more than a century and learning at a distance for over 40 years.  

An essential part of our mission is to deliver high-quality, in-demand programs to advance careers and address workforce needs. GTPE offers more than 600 courses and bootcamps, 63 professional and graduate certificate programs, and 13 online degree programs in tech, business, and industry-specific subject matter to meet the needs of working professionals and industry partners.  

Our programs are designed to directly address industry skill and knowledge gaps, while providing working professionals with practical, readily applicable solutions. For employers seeking to provide forward-thinking professional education to their employees, we provide ongoing and customized training, which helps to attract and retain top talent as well as keep employees' skills current and relevant in quickly changing markets.

Programs We Offer

  • 600+
  • 91
    Open Online
  • 5
  • 63 Professional Certificates
  • 1
  • 13
    Master's Degrees

Learner Experiences

Improve all aspects of learners' interactions and experiences

From flexible learning options to personalized online environments, we strive to meet the demands and needs of our learners in a rapidly changing world. By continuously improving all aspects of learners' interactions and experiences, we provide programs designed to meet industry needs while providing a global destination for lifelong learning, both online and in the classroom. 

Over a short period of time, Covid-19 changed the way we worked, lived, and learned. While it altered our capability to serve our learners face-to-face, it also renewed our intrinsic value of putting people first, and we found new ways to meet our learners’ needs. 

By supporting safe learning and event options, revamping our facilities, and delivering meaningful virtual service offerings, we've refashioned ourselves for more and better lifelong learning experiences. 

Services We Provided

  • 36
  • 53,371
    Learner Inquiries
  • 13
    New Student Orientations
  • 5
  • 1,220
    Credential Audits
  • 34

Celebrating Women in STEM

In 2020, more than 129,000 career-driven professionals benefited from world-class STEM programs designed to deliver the knowledge and skills that professionals need for every stage of their career. However, only 11% of our learner demographic were represented by women. ​As a nod to International Women's Day, we launched Celebrating Women in STEM to celebrate the contributions of our women learners and faculty members, while emphasizing GTPE as a champion for inclusivity.

Educate & Engage

Actively engage and drive change in academics, communities, and industry

As a unit with a direct connection to the business community and its workforce, GTPE is uniquely positioned to serve the lifetime education needs of a global community, amplifying impact and expanding access to the Institute. This vantage point at the intersection between campus and industry also supports key business relationships and provides valuable insights for the strategic benefit of the Institute. 

Through research and development, strategic partnerships, and cutting-edge programming, we extend our reach beyond the classroom to support the economic development of the state of Georgia. Whether it’s veterans transitioning to civilian life; business leaders and executives looking to hone their leadership skills; or K-12 students seeking preparation in STEAM, we provide the high-level education needed to help the local workforce envision, explore, and plan for the future of work.

Our Support In the State of Georgia

  • 5
    Campus Affiliates
  • 268
  • 824
    K-12 Students
  • 3
    Military Certificates

Create New Knowledge

Support a culture of educational innovation to address the needs of learners and employers

At GTPE, we have a long history of thought leadership that challenges previously established norms and promotes proactive strategies for higher education. We blend our roots in research and technology with grounded pedagogical principles to champion educational innovation. From degrees-at-scale to online education and alternative credentials, we have a reputation as a driver of change.  

Our work promotes the effectiveness of online delivery in expanding access and reiterates the importance of market driven educational options that are in sync with career realities and meet the needs of a global workforce. With increasing volatility through technological and generational change, it is more important than ever that education is adaptable enough to support the dynamic nature of one’s needs throughout a lifetime. 

Here are many of the ways we created new knowledge and shared it with our learners, partners, and peers over the past year.  

Innovation in Lifetime Education

  • 32
  • 2
  • 2
    Equipped Studios
  • 117
  • 14
    New Online
  • 43
    of Learning
    at a Distance

A Sampling of Knowledge Sharing

  • Leadership
  • Presentations
  • Publications


  • Nelson Baker, dean of Professional Education, was interviewed by the EvoLLLution to discuss how the professional education division at Georgia Tech helped the Institute deliver remote learning courses. 
  • Yakut Gazi, associate dean of Learning Systems, was featured on WABE 90.1 to discuss high-tech video production to enhance Georgia Tech’s online education programs. 
  • Instructional Designers, Fatimah Wirth and Shakis Drummond, successfully completed the ID2ID Peer Mentoring Program with EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative.
  • James Wilburn, director for military academic programs, was named Interim Chair of the Performance and Accountability committee for the Georgia State Workforce Development Board.




  • Aiello, B., Fain, S., Rogers, M., Sanders, S., & Walker, C. Marketing, PR and Community for Scale. Presentation at the Affordable Degrees-at-Scale Symposium. Sept. 5, 2019. Atlanta, GA. 
  • Baker, N. An Emerging Era: How the Next Digital Revolution Will Transform Higher Education. Keynote panelist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Distance Teaching & Learning Conference. Aug. 8, 2019. Madison, WI.  
  • Baker, N. Credentials, Education, and Workforce: A Look at the Future. Keynote speaker at the IMS Global Learning Consortium’s 2020 Digital Credentials Summit. Feb. 11, 2020. Atlanta, GA. 
  • Baker, N. Opening remarks at the Affordable Degrees-at-Scale Symposium. May 13, 2020. Online. 
  • Baker, N. The Education of Tomorrow Emerging Today. Podcast with Teibel Education Consulting. May 15, 2020. Online 
  • Baker, N. & DeMillo, R. The Transformation-Ready Higher Education Institution: How Leaders Can Prepare for and Promote Change. Webinar with the American Council on Education. Oct. 22, 2019. Online.
  • Baker, N. and Gazi, Y. Supporting Integrity in Education. Panelists for virtual Georgia Tech town hall. May 11, 2020. Online.
  • Baker, N. and Harmon, S.W. Creating the Next in Higher Education at Georgia Tech. Workshop on the 60-Year Curriculum. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. 2019. 
  • Botchwey, N. Rewarding Engaged Scholarship. Diversity, Inclusion + Social Good in Urban Analytics (DISA) Symposium. April 3, 2020.
  • Cone, T. STEM/STEAM Resources Through CEISMC. Presentation at the Georgia Department of Education (GADOE) Summer STEM/STEAM Academy. June 11, 2020. 
  • Gazi, Y. How will artificial intelligence transform education? Invited speech at California State University Graduation Initative 2025 Symposium. Sacramento, CA. October 18, 2019.
  • Gazi, Y. Global Perspectives on Lifetime Learning: A Look at the Year 2025. Webinar with the International Association for Continuing Engineering Education. Nov. 7, 2019. Online. 
  • Gazi, Y. Underrepresented Populations in STEM Careers: Why Is Progress So Slow? Host of panel discussion for The Career, Research, and Innovation Conference. Jan. 28, 2020. Atlanta, GA. 
  • Gazi, Y. Strategically Reimagining Online Education at Your Institution in a Changing Landscape – Lessons Learned 1, 5, and 10 Years Out. Panelist at the Summit for Online Leadership and Administration + Roundtable. Feb. 6, 2020. New Orleans, LA. 
  • Gazi, Y. A Defining Moment for Online Learning. Panelist during edX’s Virtual Forum. June 24, 2020. Online.
  • Harmon, S.W. Higher Education Leadership Roundtable with Morgan Stanley. New York. 2019.
  • Harmon, S.W. Upskilling, Reskilling, and Retraining Today's Workforce. Invited panel at The American National Standards Institute World Standards Week Conference on Building an Effective Workforce of the Future. Nov. 7, 2019. Washington, D.C. 
  • Harrison, K., African American Women Veteran Transition to the Civilian Workplace. Presenter at the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) Annual Conference. Oct. 8-11, 2019. 
  • Wirth, F. Flipping the Flipped Classroom: Length of Video, Teaching Style & The Engaging Professor: A Case Study. Presentation at the E-Learn World Conference on E-Learning. Nov. 4-7, 2019. New Orleans, LA. 




  • Alemdar M., Cone T., Newton S., Moore R. "Delivering K-12 Invention and Entrepreneurship to Rural Areas: Programming, Teacher Experiences, and Student Outcomes in a Partner Hub." American Society of Engineering Education. June 2020. 
  • Baker, N. & DeMillo, R. “The Transformation-Ready Higher Education Institution.” eBook produced by Huron Consulting Group. October 23, 2019.
  • Baker, N. “Safeguard Your Career with Professional Education.” The American Society of Civil Engineers. May 8, 2020.
  • Botchwey, N., Conway, T., Floyd, M., Hipp, A., Kim, A., Pollack-Porter, K., Umstattd Meyer, R., Burnett, J., Sallis, J. (2020). Recruitment Challenges with Youth Physical Activity Research. Preventive Medicine, 131. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.105888.
  • Harmon, S.W. & Baker, N. “Creating the Next in Higher Education at Georgia Tech.” The 60-Year Curriculum: New Models for Lifelong Learning in the Digital Economy. Edited by Christopher H. Dede and Jogn Richards. April 15, 2020.
  • Koo, B., Guhathakurta, S., Botchwey, N. (in press). How are Neighborhood and Street-Level Walkability Factors Associated with Walking Behaviors? A Big Data Approach Using Street View Images. Environment & Behavior. Submitted June 2020.
  • Lal, R., Das, K., Fan, Y., Barkjohn, K., Botchwey, N., Ramaswami, A., Russell, A.G. (2020). Connecting Air Quality with Emotional Well-Being and Neighborhood Infrastructure in a US City. Environmental Health Insights, 14. doi:10.1177/1178630220915488. 
  • Mukherjee, S., Botchwey, N. & Frimpong Boamah, E. Towards Mental Wellbeing in Cities: A Data-driven Learning from Mental Health-Environment Nexus. In: Baraldi P, Di Maio F and Zio E (eds) Proceedings of the 30th European Safety and Reliability Conference and the 15th Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management Conference. Venice, Italy: Research Publishing, June 2020.
  • O'Connell, L.K., Young, A., Botchwey, N. Measuring the Dream for an Equitable and Sustainable Future. Community Quality-of-Life Indicators: Best Cases VIII (pp. 47-64). Community Indicators Consortium. June 2020.



GTPE Employees

Build a deliberately innovative and inclusive culture within GTPE

As the lifelong learning arm of the Institute, we take intellectual curiosity seriously. While the staff at GTPE are among the best in their areas of expertise, evolution and growth are baked into our culture. Whether it means tackling a new skill or taking on a leadership role, our commitment to support the advancement and professional improvement of our staff runs deep.  

We value the discovery of new ideas, and we know that collaboration and a variety of perspectives are essential to fostering ingenuity. Our teams demonstrate their dedication to sustaining innovation through effective cross-team initiatives and resourceful problem-solving.  

From institutional leadership to industry awards, here are some examples of how the GTPE staff have advanced our mission of lifetime education over the past year.

About GTPE

  • 231
  • 330
  • 422
  • Global
  • Georgia
  • Georgia Tech

Lifetime Learners and Industry Leaders

  • Accomplishments and Recognition
  • Awards
  • Institutional Leadership
Accomplishments and Recognition
  • Tony Graddick, academic program manager, graduated from Georgia Southern University with a M.A. in Professional Communication and Leadership. 
  • Kenya (Ken) Harrison, academic program manager, graduated from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, Senior Professional in Human Resources program at Syracuse University. 
  • Instructional Designers, Fatimah Wirth and Shakis Drummond, successfully completed the ID2ID Peer Mentoring Program with Educause. 
  • Fatimah Wirth, instructional designer received a Thank-A-Teacher certificate from the Georgia Tech Center for Teaching and Learning for her work in appreciation of her teaching style and how she is helping students learn.
  • The Marketing & Digital Strategy Team was honored for their excellence in best marketing practices and promotional pieces with eight awards from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association. 
    • GOLD - Interactive Media Campaign, Poster 

    • SILVER – Mixed Media Campaign, Most Improved, Trade Show Exhibit, Website 

    • BRONZE – Print Publications, Print Ad Campaign

Institutional Leadership
  • Nisha Botchwey, associate dean of Academic Programs, was a member of the Faculty Affairs Process Improvement Group, School of Cybersecurity and Privacy Advisory Task Force, and the Georgia Institute of Technology Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Search Committee for the University System of Georgia.
  • Nisha Botchwey, associate dean of Academic Programs and Yakut Gazi, associate dean of Learning Systems, were co-chairs of the Georgia Tech Remote and Hybrid Teaching Academy.
  • Dominique Ennis Sierra, director of operations, and Myrtle Turner, principal research scientist, graduated from Georgia Tech’s Leading Women @ Tech.
  • Robin Finey, senior portfolio manager, Renita Folds, research associate, and Kelsey Harris, digital communications specialist were accepted into the MentorTech program. 
  • Tamar Grimes, course management coordinator, Mimi Lewis, academic program coordinator, Arnell Richardson, financial analyst, and Christopher Williams, digital learning support specialist, were accepted to the 2020-2021 Georgia Tech Leadership Fellows cohort.  
  • Gordana Goudie, academic program partnership manager, Tony Graddick, academic program manager, Shannon Helton-Amos, marketing communications manager, Carla Hendricks, executive assistant, Tammie Long, assistant director of program development, Lindsey Laney, academic programs manager, Stefany Sanders, director of marketing and digital strategy, and Stephanie Stephens, assistant director of creative services, have completed the Georgia Tech Inclusive Leaders Academy. 
  • Nelson Baker, dean of Professional Education, Nisha Botchwey, associate dean of academic programs, Lizanne DeStefano, CEISMC executive director, Yakut Gazi, associate dean of Learning Systems, Kenya (Ken) Harrison, academic program manager, Karen LaMarsh, portfolio manager, Patrice Miles, assistant dean of business operations, Eric Norman, instructor, Mont Rogers, senior marketing research analyst, Katherine Samford, campus and faculty coordinator and senior lecturer, Karen Tucker, academic professional, and Bobby Wellman, senior IT support manager, served on Georgia Tech's Strategic Planning Workgroups. 
  • Laura Haynes, assistant director of business operations, was accepted into the fourth cohort of the Georgia Tech Diversity and Inclusion Fellows program.  

GTPE by the Numbers

More than 129,000 individual learners turned to us in 2020 to sharpen their skills, acquire new knowledge, and earn high-demand credentials to advance their careers.