Kay J. Kohl

Kay J. Kohl

Hall of Fame Class of 2005

For the past twenty years, Dr. Kay Kohl has led the University Continuing Education Association (UCEA) as its executive director. In this capacity, she has exerted considerable influence over the professional direction of the field; working with the association’s more-than 430 regionally accredited college and university members and its approximately two thousand professional members.

Dr. Kohl’s impact on the field of continuing education has been both as an association executive and as an individual contributing through her speaking and writing. She has been instrumental in developing international connections between and among continuing education associations in Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe (European University Continuing Education Network – EUCEN). 

Dr. Kohl has also forged collaborative agreements between UCEA and the International Council for Open and Distance Learning, an organization involving open universities and distance education in more than 140 countries. Under her leadership, UCEA has been a national vehicle for exploring issues related to workforce development addressed through it’s annual workforce forum. Dr. Kohl has also ensured that UCEA utilizes a variety of new learning environments generally grouped under “distance education,” including innovations in pedagogy, quality assurance and Internet technology.

Dr. Kohl’s contributions to the literature of continuing education include oversight of UCEA’s monthly newsletter, INFocus; the journal The Continuing Higher Education REVIEW; monographs; national reference volumes such as Lifelong Learning Trends; and a book series with the American Council on Education. Under her direction, UCEA has established annual offerings of more than a dozen professional development conferences and seminars and a modular curriculum for professional development of administrators and faculty in the field.

Dr. Kohl's contributions to continuing education were recognized when she was awarded Syracuse University’s 2003 William Pearson Tolley Medal for outstanding national and international leadership in continuing education. This award recognizes her contributions to furthering public awareness of continuing education’s role in human resource and community development, to promoting professional excellence in the field, and for building UCEA as a national resource of important information on issues in continuing higher education in a rapidly changing learning environment. 

Dr. Kohl is the eleventh and first female recipient of the award since its establishment in 1966.