Dan Colman, who has been serving as interim dean of Continuing Studies, has been appointed dean of Continuing Studies and Summer Session, effective immediately. He succeeds Charles Junkerman, who stepped down in September 2018 after 20 years in the position.

Dan Colman is Stanford’s new dean of Continuing Studies and Summer Session. (Image credit: Micaela Go)

“Dan has been instrumental in helping Stanford Continuing Studies fulfill its mission of making the university’s educational resources accessible to adult students living in the Bay Area and beyond,” Provost Persis Drell said. “His work in developing online coursework has expanded the Continuing Studies program, bringing courses to thousands of adult learners worldwide every year.”

After earning his doctorate in history from Stanford in 1997, Colman spent a number of years working in internet ventures. From 2001 to 2005, he worked at the Alliance for Lifelong Learning, an e-learning consortium developed by Stanford, Oxford and Yale that provided online courses to students worldwide. In 2006, he returned to Stanford as director and associate dean of Continuing Studies.

Making education accessible

“If there’s a through line in my career, it’s that I’m dedicated to making the intellectual life of universities accessible to the larger world,” Colman said. “By accessible, I mean that I like to create courses and programs that are affordable and will resonate with the public.”

In addition to Continuing Studies, Colman will oversee Summer Session, Pre-Collegiate Studies and Stanford Online High School.

Stanford Continuing Studies offers about 600 courses each year with annual enrollments of 17,500 in courses in the liberal arts and sciences, creative writing and professional and personal development.

Since the program began in 1988, more than 1,000 Stanford faculty and academic staff have taught in Continuing Studies. Rounding out the faculty are artists, business professionals, journalists and academics from neighboring institutions.

In addition to on-campus and online courses, Continuing Studies offers about 40 special events each year, which range from small informal readings and lectures to staged performances, symposia and conferences.

Talented students

Stanford’s fourth academic quarter, Summer Session is the only quarter where visiting undergraduate and graduate students from around the world are able to take Stanford courses alongside Stanford students. Special Summer Session programs include the International Honors Program, the Veteran Accelerator Program, Silicon Valley Innovation Academy, High School Summer College and the Horizons Scholars Program for low-income high school students.

Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies operates a range of academic programs on the Stanford campus for high school and younger students, including students from underserved communities. It serves approximately 3,400 students annually.

Stanford Online High School, founded in 2006, is an accredited independent school for academically talented students in grades 7 through 12. The school has about 800 full-time and part-time students representing 32 states and 47 countries.