1991 - 1993: The beginning of a community outreach program
In the early 1990s, the Continuing Education Department was established as a training center and community outreach program. The department initially concentrated on computer literacy, issuing over 400 professional certificates in computer literacy to trainees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and establishing partnerships with three university networks: (European University Continuing Education Network, Learning Resources Network and International Association for Continuing Education).
1993 – 1995: Intense human resource development
In 1993, the CED began to develop longer-term specialized diploma programs which targeted sustainability, in cooperation with international institutions and universities. The Department also expanded its training strategy to incorporate more specialized, technical training in public and general management, gender, community development, urban planning, and micro-industries development, in response to emerging market needs.
1995–1998: Expansion to institutional capacity building
CED subsequently expanded its work to serve all four sectors of society: private, public, social services, and NGOs. In 1997, CED introduced specialized diploma programs in NGO Management and Marketing, counseling and community intervention and commercial management. CED also began working with ministries, Palestinian Legislative Council and other public entities on training needs assessment and parallel capacity building programs. In 1998, CED officially changed its name to the Center for Continuing Education (CCE), with the aim of "developing human resources and building individual and institutional capacities”.
1999 – 2001: Focus on the private and psycho-social sector
In this phase, CCE continued to develop programs focused on the private sector and enterprise development (particularly in entrepreneurship) and further developed its diploma and certificate programs for the Psycho-Social sector. The CCE also began to offer customized computer training programs to the local market, and certification for technical support specialists. Also in this phase, CCE launched the innovative Across Borders program, utilizing technology to develop networking opportunities and community amongst geographically separated Palestinian refugee communities.
2002 - 2004: Focus on public sector reform and learning innovation strategies
During this period, CCE initiated a new training program teaching middle school students to start their own business ("Ventures"). The Center also developed a specialized diploma program in Information Technology, but stopped offering customized programs in computer training to the local market when private sector training providers took on this role - as CCE participation in this area no longer provided added value. The CCE introduced e-learning tools to the West Bank in this phase, and began to explore the integration of technology into training methodology; the CCE also began to explore a series of innovative models and methods, evolving as an organization, as it constructed and built upon new knowledge. CCE continued to continued to strengthen its presence in public sector reform and NGO capacity building and to develop and expand its work on psychosocial programs, making CCE the national address for professional development and training for social workers and school counselors.
2004 - 2007: A center of excellence in professional education, professional training and community development
Since 2004, the CCE’s has focused on development as a center of excellence in professional education, to serve as a national educational research center and a show case for best-practices in professional training and community development, and strengthen Palestinian capacity in training and organizational development, nationally and regionally. This involved intense work on the CCE’s internal organizational structure, and development of new innovative learning models and methodologies in training, consultancy, e-curriculum development, the psycho-social ream and in education. This also involved a shift to five key areas: research and development, training delivery, organizational development services, dissemination of information and best practices in education and training, and sectoral networking. In this phase, the CCE continued to implement NGO management and Marketing diplomas in response to the growing needs of private and NGO sectors. The Center’s public sector and civil service reform program worked directly with governmental entities and the civil society on issues related to re-structuring and organizational change, leading to cost-savings, greater efficiencies and increased productivity for thousands of public employees. In this period, the CCE became renowned for the creation and implementation of three ongoing, state of the art professional in-service diploma courses: school counseling, counseling supervision and family counseling - with focus on child-protection.
2008 - : The Center for Continuing Education is now a leading national provider of human resource and institutional capacity building