On July 1 Mark Manrose became the new Dean of Extension at Otis College. Prior to joining the Otis community, Mark worked in continuing education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he generated over $1.5 million in revenue, supervised more than 140 instructors, and managed over 21 certificate programs. Most recently, Mark was at UCLA as an Account Director in the UCLA Anderson Executive Education Program. Mark holds an MA in Education from Pepperdine University and an MBA from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with a concentration in New Venture Management. We caught up with Mark and asked him a few questions about his new role at the College.
What excites you the most about your new position at Otis College?
Extension has a great opportunity to expand the accessibility of the College to the community. By offering educational programming that resonates with the public, we can open new avenues for people to advance their careers—or their general love of learning—through Otis College. I’m also very excited about working with the Extension team, and the entire Otis community, to maximize our exposure throughout Los Angeles to become a learning destination for all the various pockets of the community.
Is there an area you’re most interested in learning more about?
There are so many great options, but if I had to pick one I would study Digital Media. Being able to create innovative stories, characters, and films through one's skill and imagination is a truly remarkable ability. I’ve always been fascinated at how people are able to create such detailed and immersive experiences from a blank page (or computer screen). Learning more about how this process works in real life would be extremely interesting to me.
How do you see the role of Extension in the world of higher education?
I feel that Extension is one of the places where creativity in the higher education space can flourish. There is no limit to what Extension can do and the learners we can engage with. It’s critical that Extension departments are always looking to adapt their offerings to the current—and future—educational landscape by offering new and updated programs that are relevant to the market. Extension has the ability to constantly redefine itself and the programs it runs and supports. We are never held captive by outdated legacies that can stifle innovation. By keeping our finger on the pulse of the current and future needs of the community, Extension has the unique ability in the world of higher education to quickly adapt and meet the needs of an ever-competitive market.
What are a few of your highest priorities?
First and foremost I want to meet as many members of the Otis community as possible to get a greater feel for what makes Otis tick. Becoming as familiar as possible with the values, expectations, aspirations and history of Otis will serve me greatly in this role. I can’t wait to get to know as many people as I can! Another top priority is to sit down with the current Extension team to get their take on where Extension is and where they would like to see it go. Getting the “on the ground” lay of the land from the ones currently working will be critical for us to plan next steps for Extension. A third priority will be to undertake a thorough review of the current and past Otis Extension offerings to examine what’s working and what we should be looking to adapt and update. This will allow us to strengthen our current programs while helping to give direction for the new programs we’ll be looking to roll out in the future.
What would you like to say to those who haven’t yet taken an Extension class at Otis?
Come check us out! With our wide-ranging program offerings, we have the program that’s right for you. Whether it’s an in-person class, an online offering, or a hybrid model, Otis delivers programs in a manner that will work for your schedule and your learning needs. The ability to learn from our accomplished instructors and network with your peers, instructors, and Otis staff makes classes with Otis Extension an exceptional choice. We look forward to seeing you!