news-category: Academics

GWU Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) Filling a Need for Business Community

man working on laptop and taking notes

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University recently celebrated the first graduates of its new Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) program. Under the leadership of GWU’s world-class faculty, PACE offers specific, non-credit courses to enhance the skill levels of professionals ranging from entry level to mid-management, executive, and beyond.

The graduates received certification in the popular business software program, SAP S/4 HANA. The 12-week course is designed to teach students the key components of the system and prepare them to be SAP implementation analysts. The PACE staff also assists graduates with finding jobs, and the majority are now employed. “PACE is meeting the demands of the micro-credential market,” observed Dr. Anthony Negbenebor, assistant vice president for business development and partnerships and professor of economics. “Micro-credentials certify competency in certain skills. We see a need and we offer the classes.”

Corey L. Brown and Vanessa Green, both of Charlotte, N.C., are among the first graduates to receive certification. Brown, a disabled veteran, valued being able to network with other professionals while developing his expertise in the enterprise application software. “The course provided me with a priceless opportunity to meet and interact with active duty and veterans of various branches of the armed forces, as well as other individuals who are doing amazing things in their careers and lives,”  Brown explained. “It also provided me the opportunity to learn a new skill that will compliment my current skill set and allow me to have broader opportunities for roles throughout several different industry types.”

Green, a veteran of the Army National Guard, said overcoming the challenge of working full time while attending the course was a rewarding experience. “I didn’t anticipate learning and retaining quality material, but the curriculum really worked,” she related. “The long hours created a bond with the other students and instructors that has definitely impacted my life for the better.”

This semester, PACE is offering classes in Excel, Paralegal, SAP S/4 HANA, and IBM Artificial Intelligence & Blockchain. The classes vary in length and cost. Classes meet on the Gardner-Webb campus in Boiling Springs or at GWU’s Charlotte Campus (off I-77).

Dr. Felice Policastro, professor of international business and director of graduate business programs, teaches classes in Excel. “PACE offers education to the business world on any topic they need—the best solutions or tools for managers to be able to solve the problems they face every day,” he shared. “It’s a service to our community. Most of the time, the topics are selected by our business community.”

The Paralegal class will be taught by Dr. Angelina Smith, GWU assistant professor of business. The course on IBM Artificial Intelligence & Block Chain will be taught by Stephen Rogers, a vice president at IBM. Class descriptions are available here.  The next classes start Feb. 21. For more information, contact [email protected] or call 704-406-2612 or 704-419-9385.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at

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