This week we had the good fortune to take part in the LearnLaunch Across All Boundaries Conference right here in our hometown of Boston. The two-day event, for "Educators, education administrators, entrepreneurs, investors, education companies, and technology innovators," was a mix of everything K-12, higher education, and lifelong learning - with at least a little something for everyone. This year we found the topic of connecting college to the workplace more prevalent than ever, with many of the panels, presentations, and overall conversation concerning student career outcomes and workforce development.
Day One Highlights
- We met up with our friend Hannah Nyren of EdtechTimes to discuss one of our favorite subjects - the future of career services. With college to career being such a hot topic, we envision the even more attention given to role of Career Services on the student experience. Stay tuned for the full interview!
- uConnect on the 'Connecting Colleges to the Workplace' panel. Together with Adam Saven, CEO and Co-Founder of mentoring solution PeopleGrove; Michelle Bata, Associate Dean and Director of the LEEP Center, Clark University; and MIT Dean and Station1 Founder Christine Ortiz; and moderated by Jeff Dinski from Tyton Partners, our CEO and Founder David Kozhuk took part in a conversation focused on aligning the academic experience to the skillsets students need for real-world application.
Day Two Highlights
Skills Development for Adults Without a Higher Ed Degree
Although 60% of American adults have some college credit, only 32% have actually obtained a Bachelor's degree. Individuals who have not earned their degree but want to further their career need to develop a highly employable skill set. A lively discussion, moderated by John Fuller, Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School, focused on the immense opportunity for lifelong learning to support the adult learner and how this can become a win-win for student and school alike.
The panel included Mike Larsson, Founder & President, Match Beyond; Michelle Weise, SVP, Workforce Strategies & Chief Innovation Officer, Strada Education Network; and Dara Warn, Chief Outcomes Officer, Penn Foster. Highlights and discussion points from the session include:
- The rate of skill growth that employers need is outpacing the provider pace of skill development, creating a wider skill gap,
- The first person who will live to 150 was born in 2015; continuing ed and lifelong learning becomes increasingly important as adults will likely remain active in the workforce for longer periods of time than they have historically,
- Organizations need to replicate the employer engagement model to create partnerships that scale,
- Competencies integrated into educational programs for the adult learner need to be clustered to address major categories of employability skills,
- Innovative communication tools and solutions that connect several functional areas will be effective in addressing the skill gap and supporting career readiness,
This year's closing keynote address featured Gloria Cordes Larson, President of Bentley University and Author of PreparedU. Joined by Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung, the keynote focused on innovative ways colleges and universities can face "tremendous challenges and tremendous opportunities" while helping prepare students for successful launch post-graduation.
We were absolutely honored to have been mentioned by Gloria in her keynote and are ever-thankful to continue to work with Bentley University - a true innovator in everything they do.