Division of Continuing and Innovative Education (CIE)


To better serve our students, the Division of Continuing and Innovative Education (CIE) is dedicated to the research and development of exceptional education products and services. As a part of The University of Texas at Austin, we are able to draw upon the multiple strengths of the university to develop new programs and partnerships that serve learners in Austin and around the world. For example, we collaborate with university faculty to produce special lectures, author CIE publications or teach an informal class. Whether exploring new subject matter, delivery methods or instructional technologies, CIE strives to break new ground in meeting the educational goals of our students and clients.

We also consult with corporate clients to research their industries and customize training for their staffs. This helps us to continue to bring our students and clients relevant, high-quality programs and curriculum.

We continue to be at the forefront of researching and developing original online learning services for K-16 students, working professionals, and everyone in between. In pioneering the creation and adoption of innovative educational technologies and resources, CIE contributes to the university’s own goals of making The University of Texas at Austin the premier public research institution in the nation.

The possibilities are endless, and CIE invites you to contact any member of the executive leadership team if you have an idea that you want to bring to life.


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Research, Collaboration and Consulting

The expertise of CIE’s leadership team combines a diverse background in global business with a solid foundation in higher education, giving us a unique ability to effectively collaborate and consult with a variety of clients.

CIE partners with schools and corporations in Texas and around the world to create customized curriculum for students and workers in a variety of settings. We have successfully collaborated with hundreds of corporate clients to create customized training and employee development programs that cater directly to our clients’ most pressing needs. By incorporating our client’s internal projects, values, processes and strategic goals directly into course content and instruction, CIE becomes a trusted advisor to our clients and delivers the most customized training available.

Our faculty is made up of leading scholars, researchers and subject matter experts—each exploring some of the world’s most challenging problems that drive cultural, economic and social progress. Each instructor is carefully selected for their expertise based on the subject matter and objectives outlined for the program. We also work specifically with educators at The University of Texas at Austin to teach online and evening courses, professional development seminars and workshops, lifelong learning lectures, and informal classes. University subject matter experts also contribute to the oil and gas textbooks and reference materials published by our Petroleum Extension Service (PETEX).

We actively pursue academic partnerships that would benefit both our students, and our partners. CIE consults with various colleges and schools at the university to help them develop new business models, conduct environmental scanning of potential new programs and pilot timely new programs.  CIE often participates in information exchanges with other UT system schools, as well as public and private institutions to gauge trends on other campuses, tap into additional faculty and help keep our educational programs competitive and relevant.

CIE regularly works in partnership with the University Professional Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) to contribute to ongoing research in the field of continuing and professional studies.

It is our sincere desire to provide innovative, world-class professional and lifelong studies to the Austin community, the employees of Texas, and the world.

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Economic Impact

For over 100 years, CIE has worked to fulfill its mission of making The University of Texas at Austin a resource for all people—in Texas and beyond. We do this to both transform lives and to promote economic development in Austin and across the state.

One of the few bright spots in the nation’s sluggish economy is the continued resilience and power of Austin, Texas. Businesses continue to grow and workers are moving here from around the country dreaming of a better life. In 2010, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named Austin the number one city for business growth and a “hotbed of new business creation.”

One of the main ways that CIE supports this booming economic development is by working with state and local business leaders to develop non-traditional learning opportunities in response to growing workforce needs. CIE produces quality, affordable and accessible learning opportunities for Austin’s growing population.

But our work isn’t limited by our state border. Today’s global economy demands a new type of worker, one that is adaptable, innovative and always ready to learn. We assist students, clients and customers in Austin and from all over the world, including:

  • Local entrepreneurs learning the fundamentals of launching a business in CIE’s Small Business Development Program.
  • Individuals seeking to enter the legal field through the Paralegal program.
  • Those seeking healthcare careers through the Pharmacy Technician and Medical Interpreter programs.
  • Migrant workers who, through distance learning courses from CIE’s Migrant Student Program, are able to graduate high school and advance in their educations - often becoming the first in their family to attend college.
  • Oil and gas industry professionals from around the world come to PETEX’s new Learning and Assessment Center in Houston seeking hands-on industry training
  • College students in Austin and around the world in such territories and countries as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China, Vietnam and more earn online college credit through courses with University Extension.

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