Announcing the Appointment of an AVP of Online and Continuing Education

Jessica Butts Scott joins U of A as first AVP of Online and Continuing Education

Verna Yiu - 11 August 2022

Today I am pleased to welcome Jessica Butts Scott to the University of Alberta as the inaugural Associate Vice-President, Online and Continuing Education. In this new role, Jessica will help to lead the development of online and continuing education at the U of A as we promote growth and respond to the emerging needs of our community and industry partners.

U of A Online and Continuing Education

On June 17, 2022, the Board of Governors formally approved the dissolution of the Faculty of Extension in order to facilitate establishing a new hub-style unit called U of A Online and Continuing Education. Extension has held a long history at the U of A, and while the underlying faculty structure has changed, our commitment to professional education and lifelong learning remain the same.

U of A Online and Continuing Education integrates directly with the university’s new operating model. This team will provide expert support to the colleges, faculties, and units across the university to grow and expand online, continuing and professional education. They will work together with the college associate deans of education, the Centre for Teaching and Learning, and other stakeholders to lead, coordinate, develop, and implement strategies for online and continuing education across the institution. The shift will help us respond more nimbly to the needs of community and industry partners, maintain closer relationships with graduates throughout their careers, and provide additional pathways into the university through non-credit programs that ladder into certificate or degree programs—all of which will play a role in the U of A’s growth strategy for the years ahead.

The new unit also brings together continuing education with the U of A’s online strategy. Reporting to Jessica Butts Scott in her role as AVP (Online and Continuing Education), Brian Pardell (Director, Continuing Education) and Kristin Mulligan (Director, Online Education) have recently joined the U of A to help integrate these two portfolios and capitalize on the overlap between them to promote their mutual growth. 

About Jessica Butts Scott

Jessica comes to the university with extensive experience in online learning infrastructure and building innovative continuing-education programs. She joins us from Athabasca University, where she held progressively senior roles that included Director (Student Recruitment and Partnerships) and Manager (Corporate Relations) within the Faculty of Business. Most recently, she served as the Director of PowerED™: an industry leader in online upskilling/reskilling and corporate training.

Throughout her career, Jessica has accumulated significant expertise in designing online and continuing education programming, micro-credentials enriched with multimedia, interactive learning objects, and immersive AI Technologies. She has also led strategic partnerships with post-secondary institutions in Canada to implement enterprise-wide digital learning strategies and launch strategic online programs, enabling institutions to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic in a stronger digital learning position.

Her own education includes an MBA from Athabasca University and a Bachelor of Business Administration and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. She is currently working toward her Doctorate in Distance and Digital Education (EdD) from Athabasca University.

Jessica will start on September 15, 2022. Please join me in welcoming her to the U of A.

Dr. Verna Yiu
Interim Provost and Vice-president (Academic)



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