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September 28, 2020

Future of Higher Education


Innovation, Access, Skills: Join WGU at ASU+GSV

About WGU and ASU+GSV.

WGU believes talent is equally distributed but opportunity is not. At the ASU+GSV Summit this week, we are talking about how we can create pathways to opportunity for every individual. WGU is participating in over a dozen sessions, detailed below. And as a bonus session, WGU’s Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Marni Baker-Stein, will be closing out ASU+GSV on Oct. 8, with a closing keynote panel, on the #powerofwomen in higher education. We hope you will join us live or watch our programming on-demand by registering for the conference free of charge.


Developing Seed-Stage Startups

New U Venture Partners (NUVP) is a fund formed and sponsored by WGU to drive innovation that can renew education as the surest path to opportunity. Dre Brennin, Managing Partner, and Joel Camacho, Vice President, are introducing NUVP’s first development program for seed-stage start-ups that will invest $1 million in mission-aligned start-ups focused in digital learning and the future of work. The goal is to infuse companies with funding, knowledge, networks, and confidence, to enable them to thrive in a Series A round. 

Save the date: Tue Sep 29, 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM PDT


Advancing Impact: A Conversation with the Accelerator at WGU Labs and Its Portfolio Companies

WGU Labs invents, builds, and invests in innovative learning solutions that improve quality and advance educational outcomes for learners everywhere. Todd Bloom, Managing Director, will provide an overview of WGU Labs’ accelerator program. WGU Labs accelerator clients, including MajorClarity, InScribe, Edquity, eLumin, and Red Flag Mania will discuss the innovations they are achieving through collaboration with WGU Labs. 

Save the date: Wed Sep 30, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PDT


Meeting this Moment by Pushing the Boundaries: Teaching, Learning, and Leading Change for K-12, Higher Ed, and More

In the world of education, this year of pandemic and hard social-justice work has pushed us to try new things, reflect on and reexamine long-held practices and beliefs, and begin to look to a different kind of road ahead. Mark Milliron, WGU’s Senior Vice President for the Teachers College, will lead a panel including Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart, Rahim Rajan, Deputy Director for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Stacy Caldwell, CEO of Mastery Transcript Consortium, as they reflect on this tumultuous time and a project the possibilities we now can champion around new learning models, teaching strategies, and leadership principles for engaging and readying students for an increasingly dynamic time in learning, earning, personal growth, and civic engagement. 

Save the date: Wed Sep 30, 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM PDT


Strength in Numbers: A Collaborative Approach to Weather the COVID Storm

COVID has accelerated the need for effective technologies to connect students to their learning experiences. However, matching educational institutions with EdTech vendors that most directly address institutions’ core needs remains an uncertain and, at times, inefficient process that blocks impactful partnerships from forming. WGU Labs has formed the College Innovation Network (CIN) to help connect and implement EdTech solutions to a network of schools centered around common EdTech needs. Join CIN's directors, Dr. Omid Fotuhi and Dr. Lisa Ferrara, as they discuss current challenges being addressed, and learn about opportunities to join CIN. 

Save the date: Thu Oct 01, 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM PDT



A New Paradigm for College Readiness

One of the greatest barriers to higher education is a lack of college readiness. Remediation is estimated to cost $7 billion per year—and it doesn’t work; students spend money and time and rack up debt to take remedial courses but aren’t likely to move down the pathway to completion. WGU has taken a different approach and launched WGU Academy to give students a low-risk and low-cost approach to college, where they can build college credit and learn academic and non-cognitive skills—like grit and growth mindset—that lead to better student outcomes. Pat Partridge, WGU Academy’s President, is calling for pilot partners to scale initiatives for student success. 

Save the date: Tue Sep 29, 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM PDT


A frank discussion of nursing licensure regulation, education, and reforms

2020 is the year of the nurse. It’s also shaping up to bring the biggest nursing shortage in modern memory. Part of the reason is self-inflicted: the 50-state patchwork of licensure that serves as a barrier to those seeking to enter and advance in the nursing profession. Jan Jones-Schenk, Senior Vice President of WGU’s College of Health Professions, is taking on licensure in a conversation with David Benton, CEO of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Lauren Block, Program Director at the National Governors Association, and Linda Knodel, SVP and Chief Nursing Executive at Kaiser Permanente. The panel is moderated by Sydne Enlund, Health Policy Specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Save the date: Tue Sep 29, 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM PDT


A Level Playing Field: How Skills Can Help Open Pathways to Good Jobs For All

Moving to skills-based assessments won’t instantly squeeze all of the bias out labor markets, but it would dramatically level the playing field. Skills-based hiring would reduce disparities in labor market outcomes and give employers better tools to understand the role bias plays in hiring and promotion processes. Join Scott Pulsipher, WGU President, as he leads a discussion with Wendi Copeland, Chief Mission and Partnership Officer of Goodwill Industries International, and Ahnna Smith, Executive Director of the DCWorkforce Investment Council, for a discussion on a skills-based future that creates a world in which pathways to opportunity are open to all.

Save the date: Thurs Oct 1, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM PDT


The Buck Stops Here: Innovating Financial Aid for Student-Centered Lifelong Learning

Federal and state governments spend billions of dollars annually on student financial aid programs with inequitable and less than desirable outcomes. Additionally, employers spend hundreds of billions of dollars on formal education and informal training. With nearly $1.7 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S., we don’t need more amplifiers of the problem, we need solutions. A panel led by Bob Collins, WGU’s Vice President for Financial Aid, will explore what those solutions look like. Panelists include Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Beth Akers, Senior Vice President Alison Griffin of Whiteboard Advisors, and Patti Kohler, Director of Financial Aid at WGU. 

Save the date: Thurs Oct 1, 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM PDT


A New Learning Ecosystem for the COVID Era

COVID has accelerated the demand for education and training, both for workers who are seeking new jobs and for those who have seen COVID reshape their work environments. Individuals also want to know how education and training opportunities map to career achievement. Matt Sanders, Senior Vice President for University Development at WGU joins Ryan Craig, Scott Fleming, Dara Warn, and Jeffrey Frey to explore how learning providers and employers can use technology to create new systems that help meet the needs of workers and learners in the COVID era.  

Save the date: Tue Sep 29, 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM


The Open Skills Network: Building a more equitable, skills-driven labor market

The Open Skills Network (OSN) is a coalition of dozens of employers, education providers, military partners, and other stakeholders dedicated to advancing skills-based education and hiring. The OSN intends to collaboratively and innovatively develop the foundation for a skills-based future. This panel, moderated by WGU Provost and Chief Academic Officer Marni Baker-Stein and BrightHive CEO Matt Gee, includes representatives from a range of OSN members, including Walmart, Emsi, Southern New Hampshire University, Salesforce, and Concentric Sky. 

Save the date: Wed Sep 30, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM PDT


A New Open Skills Framework to Help People, Education, and Work Speak the Same Language

Skills have become the dominant theme in many of our education to work discussions. But what do we mean by skills and how can a skills-based language actually help? This panel, including WGU Provost and Chief Academic Officer Marni Baker-Stein, will explore the work going on in the world of skills, including a new open skills library that Emsi has introduced with the goal of serving as a common language between people looking for work, work looking for people, and educational programs looking to connect people to the labor market. Attend this session to learn more on how a skills language offers simple and elegant solutions to help colleges improve curriculum, businesses create better job postings, and people articulate valuable skills on resumes and profiles. 

Save the date: Wed Sep 30, 2:15 PM - 3:00 PM PDT


Mapping Sought Skills to Taught Skills: How Western Governors University Creates Value for Students by Mapping Curriculum to In-Demand Skills

WGU is committed to making sure every graduate learns skills that are in-demand in the modern workforce. But making that happen isn’t just a matter of good intentions, it also includes a good deal of data science. Kacey Thorne, Director of Skills Architecture at WGU, is sitting down with Luke Jankovic, Emsi’s Executive VP for Higher Education, to discuss how WGU is utilizing Emsi’s open skills library, which identifies nearly 30,000 skills from hundreds of millions of job postings, resumes, and professional profiles to match WGU’s competency-based curriculum with a list of workforce-relevant skills.  

Save the date: Thurs Oct 1, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM PDT


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