Teresa MacNeil retired in 1996 from her varied role as Professor of Adult Education at St. Francis Xavier University, located in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada. Her name had been on the payroll of that undergraduate, liberal arts institution continuously since she joined its extension department in 1959 to work in support of social and economic development in Maritime Canada. Over the ensuing 37 years her base remained firmly in the field of adult education, always connected with St. Francis Xavier University. Dr. MacNeil graduated from St. Francis Xavier University with a bachelor of science degree (home economics) in 1957. Between 1964 and 1970, she attended the University of Wisconsin to study adult education and earned a master's degree and a doctoral degree, both in educational policy studies.
When she returned to St. Francis Xavier University in 1970, it was to assume an academic assignment as Chair of a new master's program in adult education. Gradually, she gained support from the academic side to present a program of continuing education for adults. In 1982, when she became Director of the University's Extension Department, she incorporated continuing education activities (degree and non-degree courses and programs) into the extension function.
She has been an active participant in a range of adult education organizations in Canada throughout her career. She was one of the founding members of the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Association for Adult Education (CAAE) from 1979 through 1994 and served as President for a four-year period from 1988. During the mid-1980s, she chaired a task force on behalf of the governments of Nova Scotia and Canada to make recommendation for improving the economy of Cape Breton. For four years Dr. MacNeil has been a member of the Board of the Canadian Co- operative Association. She maintains that much has yet to be done to ensure that learning in problem-centered settings takes place in an efficient and effective way. To help achieve this necessary rigor, she and a colleague have developed an evaluation framework for community economic development. An especially challenging area of organization change in which she has been involved is Nova Scotia universities. She served on behalf of the province's Council on Higher Education as coordinator for several projects calling for high levels of inter-university collaboration. She is one of two representatives of Canada's education and training community on the national Labor Force Development Board.
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