Randazzo follows alternate path to become SCPS Dean
Barbara Randazzo, newly appointed dean of the Elizabethtown College School of Continuing and Professional Studies at the Edward R. Murphy Center (SCPS), found herself at the School 15 years ago applying for a job that had little to do with her educational background, but it started her on a new path to discovery.
Though Randazzo graduated from St. Joseph’s University with a Human Resources degree and earned a master’s degree from Duquesne University, she began working in Admissions for SCPS in 2000. The switch was energizing, she said.
“I was ready for a change. And education is such a hopeful field, especially with adult students motivated in lifelong dreams.” In a recent interview, Randazzo explained her vision for SCPS as it fulfills its mission to help adults achieve their dreams by becoming students again.
Throughout the years, Randazzo worked her way through several roles with the School, eventually being named interim dean for six months last year. Today, she oversees the the entire workings of SCPS with its four locations and online services.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 or 65, you can still be open to new things,” said Randazzo about her new responsibilities. “That’s why I’m here after 15 years; Elizabethtown College allows me to grow and develop in multiple ways.”
This winter, Randazzo started to piece together a vision for the school to better serve its students and the community. In a world ruled by technology, Randazzo recognizes the need to offer, along with the in-class and mixed venues, 100-percent online learning. “Creating an access to education for those who can’t reach it is something we are continuously working at,” she said. Online courses fill up immediately for SCPS, she said, and the School is pushing to make improvements to online venues and make it easier for students trying to juggle 40 hours at their workplace plus schoolwork.
“I want to see the School go into its next evolution,” Randazzo said about her goals as dean. “Higher education has changed in 15 years and we’ve [SCPS] always been ahead of the curve. So, the question is: How can we still do that?”
Past advancements at SCPS have been the growth of its MBA and Leadership programs, which expanded the offerings to seven undergraduate degrees and two graduate degrees. And, now, Randazzo said she believes the next move is to create a unique niche for SCPS so that years from now the school will still be thriving.
With competitors all around, Randazzo wants the school to stand out with a mission to educate for service to a community. Currently, she is working to improve the School’s graduate programs by coordinating with the Social Enterprise Institute at Elizabethtown College. The two entities create projects and community partnerships for the 800 students connected to the School.
As she settles into her first year as dean, Randazzo wants to “enhance our reputation for adult education excellence, making it known from others as the place where we do it right.”