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IgnitED Newsletter: Reshaping Education and the Workforce

Sep 29, 2023

In this edition of IgnitED by WGU, we look at the importance of adaptability and skill-building in today’s changing world, the mindsets that fuel higher ed inequities, a unique program that is advancing health equity in a vulnerable landscape, why culture in the workplace is critical for motivation, and a story of hard work and resilience from the youngest CPA in history.

If you know others who’d welcome insights on these topics, please invite them to subscribe. If you have feedback on this newsletter, feel free to contact us.


Reshaping Education and the Workforce

In the era of rapid technological advancement, the importance of relevant skills and adaptability cannot be overstated. WGU has taken a pioneering step with the WGU Skills Library, an innovative tool that aims to bridge the gap between education, career aspirations, and the shifting demands of the workforce.

Educational administrators can use the Skills Library to craft curricula that mirror the evolving prerequisites of employers across a broad spectrum of roles. By doing so, they are not only equipping students with knowledge but also preparing them with the essential skills to thrive in their chosen career paths. This creates a more holistic approach, helping make graduates both knowledgeable and employable.

Activating Talent: Two Mindsets That Fuel Higher Ed Inequities

WGU President Scott Pulsipher writes that, in its current state, our higher education system—full of expansive missions and uneven outcomes—is not primarily designed to act as an engine of economic and social mobility for America’s diverse learners. But progress is underway. The first step towards reinvigorating education’s promise is for our institutions and stakeholders to align around a common goal: activating talent to opportunity.

When you start with the end in mind it provides a direct link between the benefit intended and the requirements to deliver it. That’s a start, but before we consider design principles and success metrics that could lay the foundation for a new and improved system, we must first confront the faulty mindsets and deeply ingrained beliefs manifested in our current system. If we don’t, we risk perpetuating social inequities and imbalances that are evident in higher education’s current architecture and regulatory framework.

WGU Pioneers Coopetition for Health Equity

WGU’s Institute for Advancing Health Value, a part of the Michael O. Leavitt School of Health, and AltaCair, an accountable care organization, take the first bold step to initiate coopetition (collaboration with competitors) to advance value for health equity in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley with the Accelerator2023 event on Oct. 17 in Texas.

Action vs. Words for Organizational Impact

“Culture can foster inclusive environments where employees feel comfortable being their true selves with their teammates without fear of being treated differently or negatively,” writes Ashley Dugger, WGU associate dean and director for human resource management programs.

How WGU Developed the Youngest CPA in History

When Jimmy Chilimigras broke the world record as the youngest person to pass the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam at 15 years old, he credited hard work, resilience, and the support he received from his alma mater, Western Governors University.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a global effort to help everyone stay safe and protected when using technology whenever and however you connect. WGU is a proud champion and supporter of this online safety and education initiative this October and will be hosting two events:

  • A Whole Lotta BS (Behavioral Science) about Cybersecurity
  • Issues of Cyberbullying in Today's Modern World

More WGU Headlines:

News We're Reading:

Inside Higher Ed: For Selective Institutions, Progress and Backsliding on Socioeconomic Diversity

For several decades, higher education institutions have felt immense pressure to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of their student bodies, with socioeconomic diversity often taking a backseat. But recent legal and political considerations may be changing that.

Times Higher Education:Shaping the Future of Education Using Stackable Credentials

Microlearning is an educational approach that has gained momentum in recent years. The concept of stackable credentials could create a paradigm shift in the education sector by challenging the traditional linear model of education.

WGU Student Story:

Alexandra Bechtel
M.S. Management and Leadership (2022)
Sioux Falls, SD

Despite years of struggling with learning disorders, Alexandra earned her bachelor’s degree in 2020 and her master’s in 2022. She went on to become the founder and president of a nonprofit organization that advocates for students with learning disorders and provides resources to educators across the nation.

Alexandra used her platform as Miss South Dakota 2020 to continue sharing her story and spread hope to thousands across the world. She later went on to become a global advocate for the International Dyslexia Association, and Community Outreach Director at a clinic. She is also the American Heart Association Spokesmodel, Featured Marketing Freelancer for Patagonia’s campaign (also known as Patagonia Action Works), and Digital Strategist for a local marketing firm.

This award recognizes professionals for the tremendous hard work and courage it takes to make an inspiring impact in the communities they serve. At only 24 years old, Alexandra has done just that.

Recommended Articles

Take a look at other articles from WGU. Our articles feature information on a wide variety of subjects, written with the help of subject matter experts and researchers who are well-versed in their industries. This allows us to provide articles with interesting, relevant, and accurate information.