☰ In This Section

Post-traditional Project

While the end goal of this project is to grow our post-traditional enrollment, the initial focus will be on improving the overall student experience in the College of Adult & Professional Studies, Graduate School, and Bethel Seminary to help position Bethel as the Christ-centered university of choice for this century.  

We have appointed a steering committee and project team to advance this work. The project team will make recommendations for near- and long-term elements to accomplish the goal. The steering committee will review those recommendations to decide if they should be accepted or not with Deb Harless and Joe LaLuzerne working together as project sponsors.Project Team

Steering Team

  • Deb Harless, executive vice president and provost
  • Joe LaLuzerne, senior vice president for strategic planning and operational effectiveness
  • Pat Brooke, chief financial officer
  • David Clark, vice president and dean for Bethel Seminary
  • Dick Crombie, vice president and dean for College of Adult & Professional Studies and Graduate School
  • Mark Posner, vice president for facilities and technology
  • Carmen Shields, chief marketing officer
  • Cara Wald, chief human resources officer
  • Tim Eaton, vice president for enrollment management

Project Team

  • Beth Anderson, project and administrative specialist
  • Jeannine Brown, professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary San Diego
  • Jessica Daniels, associate professor of education, Graduate School
  • Joel Erickson, director of user support and engagement, ITS
  • Ben Groff, director of enrollment management data and technology
  • Ryan Gunderson, associate dean for student affairs, College of Adult & Professional Studies and Graduate School
  • Ross Jahnke, associate dean of academic operations, Bethel Seminary
  • Suzanne McInroy, director of communications
  • Bob Nielsen, senior project manager of strategic initiatives
  • Jen Niska, director of admissions, College of Adult & Professional Studies, Graduate School, and Bethel Seminary
  • Bill Paxton, associate professor and program director, MBA, Graduate School
  • Matt Putz, director of Teaching and Learning Technology (TLT)
  • Jeff Sanders, associate dean for formation and student development, Bethel Seminary
  • David Stewart, director of university libraries
  • Chuck Stroud, assistant chief financial officer
  • Michael Vedders, director of marketing

Project Updates

July 2016

The Post-traditional Project team began meeting in December and significant progress has taken place in the last six months. The first exercise was to map out the ideal student experience from inquiry to graduation, and identify existing gaps in our systems that negatively impact post-traditional students. From there, the team identified sub-projects and developed timelines. The immediate areas of focus are:
Program selection and priorities: The team identified 14 post-traditional programs that have great potential to grow. We will focus on these programs during the next two years. Seven are existing programs and seven are new.


  • B.S. in Business Management 
  • B.S. in Finance 
  • B.S. in Accounting 
  • MBA
  • M.A. in Ministry Practice
  • B.A. in Human Services 
  • M.A. in Special Education 


  • M.A. in Athletic Training Leadership
  • B.S. in Aviation Management
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy
  • M.S. in Occupational Therapy
  • M.A. in Healthcare Administration
  • B.S. in Psychology

A sub-team put together a financial model to use to identify resources available and resources needed to help select the priority programs. These programs will be launched or revamped with the goal to increase students and, in turn, increase dollars back into the Post-traditional Project. Currently, we have funding to revamp the existing programs and launch the first three new programs.

Project management: Starting in April, Bob Nielsen started working at Bethel as senior project manager and is overseeing the Post Traditional Project. This complex effort has many “moving parts” that cut across numerous areas of the university. Bob’s focus will be to work with the many offices to keep the project moving forward.

Flexible Starts/Dynamic Enrollment: The team has identified one key area to improve the post-traditional student experience, which is to open up more entry or starting points for new students. Rather than limiting starts to fall, spring, or summer, the team would like to create multiple starting points each term. A sub-team is discussing the best way to make this happen and mapping out a plan that will work for the many offices across campus that would be involved.

Enrollment team re-structure: Admissions offices for CAPS/GS and Bethel Seminary have been combined into one post-traditional admissions office.

Upcoming activities:

  • Complete the project charter – this document will define the scope, roles, and responsibilities of the project as well as present a high-level schedule, identify project risks, and critical success factors.
  • Complete the development of a financial model for adding new programs or modifying existing programs.
  • Complete the development of a process to start new post-traditional programs and to keep them current and market relevant.
  • Complete the development of a new marketing and media plan to invest project marketing dollars into the priority programs.
  • Complete a gap analysis between policies and processes at CAPS/GS and at Bethel Seminary.
  • Continue to look for “value added” items to improve the student experience in a short timeline and without a lot of costs. The initial effort will focus on process improvements within our admissions, registrar, and student success areas.

Challenge ahead: External funding for this project is still needed. The project goal is $4 million. To date, we have received well over $1 million of that goal from a number of engaged donors, but we have a way to go to complete our goal. Project timelines are dependent on successful funding by donors and will be adjusted as needed.