CIE’s Stacy McCracken discusses the lasting impact of continuing education


Stacy McCracken is the Chief Development Officer for Continuing & Innovative Education (CIE). In the video above, she discusses how continuing education makes a difference in people’s lives and offers her thoughts on CIE’s 100th anniversary.

Stacy also answers a few of our questions about her own personal experience with continuing education and how donations to CIE are put to work.

How has continuing education impacted your life?
“One of my very first experiences with continuing education was right out of engineering school. I was a young female engineer working for General Motors and I was going to be interacting with the local labor union in the manufacturing area. At the time there weren’t many female engineers working in the manufacturing area. So when I showed up for my very first day of work my supervisor told me that he had scheduled me to attend a 3-day Assertive Communications Course. At the time, I was furious—he didn’t even know me! I was sure that there wasn’t anything I needed to learn about “assertive communications.” But those 3 days had a tremendous impact on my life, and after taking that class I was hooked on professional development. I had learned just a few new skills, but those have stayed with me and have made a difference in both my personal and professional life.”

If you could pass on any bit of advice to our readers regarding CIE or continuing education in general, what would it be?
“Don’t wait. If you’ve never invested the time in yourself – do it. If you typically pass on training opportunities or educational reimbursement offered by your employer, take a chance the next time. Find something that looks interesting and give it a try.

Why would someone choose to give to CIE?
“Charitable giving to Continuing and Innovative Education impacts lives. CIE is self-funded which means that we do not receive state funds. Our funding is generated through the products and services we provide – or any grants that we may receive.

Some may think, ‘Well, since you can generate your own funds, why would you need any financial gifts?’ Keeping our programs, like our Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, affordable and available is extremely important to us. We see a growing need for more programs like this, and gifts would provide the start-up funds needed to expand our services.

As the needs of employers change, and with women representing a majority of the nation’s work force, a gift to CIE can help us launch critical programs faster. We see a growing need for new online programs supporting individual professional development and career transitions. So, whether its through a new learning series like Smart Women – Smart Planning or distinguished speakers brought to you through CIE Presents, we see the needs of Texas and the Austin community, and your charitable contributions allow CIE to respond quickly to those needs.

A donor’s investment can help pave the way to ensure that excellent educational opportunities remain available and affordable.”

What impact can individuals have by giving to CIE?
“CIE strives to equip students with educational benefits that prepare them for a changing workforce, for new opportunities, and for supporting their families and local economy. Gifts to specific programs, like the Migrant Student Graduation Enhancement Program, LUCHA, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute provide financial support for scholarships, facilities, technology and expanded services that benefit our students. New funding truly helps us to quickly expand our programs and services while ensuring they remain affordable and of high-quality.”

To make your own donation to CIE, please select the “Support our next 100 years” button in the right hand column of this Web page. You may also e-mail Stacy McCracken for more information at


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