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Part of Western Governors University

August 5, 2021

Future of Higher Education

Join WGU at the ASU+GSV Summit

Be in the room where it happens AGU+GSV Summit San Diego August 9 to 11

If you are passionate about renewing the promise of higher education—and want to learn more about expanding access to education, aligning skills with workforce needs, and driving better student outcomes—we invite you to join us at the ASU+GSV Summit on August 9-11. Register to attend virtually or in person to ensure that you don’t miss programming from Western Governors University (WGU) and its affiliates—WGU Academy, WGU Labs, the Open Skills Network, and the College Innovation Network—who, along with many partners, are leading conversations around some of the most daunting challenges and opportunities in higher education and workforce development. We’ll see you in San Diego!

Monday, August 9

Nontraditional Learners—or Just Learners? Stories from the Education Underground

1 – 1:45 p.m.

Solana Beach A, Level 3

Join Peter Smith, author of Stories from the Education Underground: The New Frontier for Learning and Work, in conversation with Western Governors University Provost and Chief Academic Officer Marni Baker Stein as they discuss the needs of learners today—and how systems and institutions need to innovate and change in order to meet their needs. This conversation will be deeply grounded in the stories and perspectives of today’s students.

  • Marni Baker Stein, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, WGU
  • Peter Smith, Author and Orkand Chair, Senior Advisor, Professor of Innovative Practices at University of Maryland Global Campus

Making College Pay

2 – 2:45 p.m.

Solana Beach A, Level 3

WGU President Scott Pulsipher will moderate a conversation on moving beyond the cost of college and considering questions of value. The Postsecondary Value Commission has found that over 600 institutions fail to produce a positive ROI for their students. Join panelists Beth Akers of the American Enterprise Institute, author of Game of Loans and the recent Making College Pay, as well as Bob Collins, a 35-year veteran of higher education and the leader of WGU’s Responsible Borrowing Initiative, which has reduced student debt at graduation by a third.

  • Scott Pulsipher, President, WGU – Moderator
  • Beth Akers, Author and Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
  • Bob Collins, Vice President of Financial Aid, WGU

An Introduction to the Open Skills Network

3 – 3:45 p.m.

Solana Beach A, Level 3

From its launch less than a year ago, the Open Skills Network has grown to over 500 organizations across higher education, government, and the workforce. This unprecedented cross-sector collaboration is driven by a shared vision: to unlock a skills-based future. Learn about the OSN’s vision, growth, progress, next steps—and the role you can play in building a skills-based future.

  • Sarah Demark, Interim Executive Director of the OSN and VP of Workforce Intelligence and Credential Integrity, WGU
  • Michael Jay, CEO, Matchmaker Education Labs
  • Jeanne Kitchens, Chief Technology Services Officer, Credential Engine
  • Sharon Leu, Executive in Residence, JFF Labs
  • David McCool, President & CEO, Muzzy Lane

Beyond Pipelines of People: Humanizing Skill Development and Hiring

4 – 4:45 p.m.

Solana Beach A, Level 3

Despite significant investment and the best efforts of scores of innovators, the path to opportunity is blocked for many—and efforts to connect diverse talent to opportunity often put them on an assembly line rather than a path of exploration and informed career decisions. Join a panel of pathbreakers to explore new paradigms to connect diverse talent to opportunity, including:

  • Jason Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, WGU
  • Sarah Burns, Director of Learning, San Diego Workforce Partnership
  • Michael Morris, Executive Director, GERE and Head of Strategy, WGU University Development
  • Katie Franco, Executive Director, Girl Develop It

Open Skills Network Reception

4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Top of the Hyatt Bar

Join us for cocktails and connections overlooking the San Diego Bay. Meet and mingle with members of the Open Skills Network (OSN) and learn more about the important work underway to make skills the common language of learning and work. No RSVP is required, and attendees will enjoy appetizers and open-bar service.

Tuesday, August 10

The Future of Higher Education  

8 – 10 a.m.

Stage X (Seaport Ballroom, Level 2)
Hear from a panel of college presidents—including WGU President Scott Pulsipher—who have had the unenviable distinction of operating right in the middle of a game-changing alteration in the education landscape. Coming off over a year of disruption and subsequent innovation and adjustment, these presidents sit down to share all they have learned, with, no doubt, some advice for experts across all sectors. Don’t miss out on what is sure to be an enlightening dialogue. Participants include:

  • Michael Horn, Senior Strategist, Guild Education - Moderator
  • Scott Pulsipher, President, WGU
  • Michael M. Crow, President, Arizona State University
  • David Thomas, President, Morehouse College
  • Ruth Watkins, President, Strada Education Network and Former President, University of Utah
  • Gregory Fowler, President, University of Maryland Global Campus

How to Drive Equitable Outcomes through Innovative Finance

10:55 – 11:35 a.m.

Harbor G, Level 2

There is much debate about how to ensure that training providers using innovative financing produce outcomes that are more, not less, equitable. This panel will outline some of the issues and dig into the work being done by providers to promote equity. Participants include:

  • Maria Flynn, President & CEO, JFF - Moderator
  • Scott Pulsipher, President, WGU
  • Tess Michaels, Founder & CEO, Stride Funding
  • Karthik Krishnan, CEO, MentorWorks Education Capital, Inc.
  • Hanna Jamal, Director, Social Finance

Underserved but Not Overlooked: Closing the Outcomes Gap for Underserved Students Through Innovative Social-Emotional Learning Approaches  

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Solana Beach A, Level 3

WGU Academy supports higher ed institutions, employers, and community-based programs that need an innovative, online, and scalable solution to better prepare their learners for academic and career success. New research from the college-readiness program makes a strong case for its two-pronged approach—pairing credit-bearing curriculum with social-emotional learning concepts that instill confidence and resiliency—as a solution for better student outcomes, and especially for underserved learner populations. Learn more about how Academy’s unique approach to college readiness is improving outcomes and closing the attainment gap for underserved students. Panelists include:

  • Chelsea Barnett, Director of Learning Experience, WGU Academy 
  • Omid Fotuhi, Research Associate, Learning Research & Development Center (LRDC) based at the Univ. of Pittsburgh, and Director for Learning and Innovation, WGU Labs
  • Reshma Gouravajhala, Research Scientist, WGU Academy

Indiana Leads the Way: an Achievement Wallet for Every State

12 – 12:45 p.m.

Solana Beach A, Level 3

Skills-denominated achievements are the future and can allow for seamless transition between the worlds of learning and work—but the systems to validate, record, and share skills-denominated achievements don’t yet exist. A cross sector collaboration of innovators is working to change that in Indiana. By building an ecosystem of employers, educational providers, and service providers, the Indiana Achievement Wallet pilot encourages and supports frictionless, lifelong learning pathways for learner-workers in Indiana and beyond. Panelists include:

  • Kacey Thorne, Director of Skills Architecture, WGU
  • Darin Hobbs, Director of Academic Records and Credentials, WGU
  • Kymberly Lavigne-Hinkley, Senior Manager of Coaching and Development, Skillful (an initiative of the Markle Foundation)
  • Alex Kaplan, Global Leader, IBM Digital Credentials

Enhancing EdTech Adoption through a Network of Innovation

2 – 2:45 p.m.

Solana Beach A, Level 3

Although postsecondary institutions recognize the need to embrace remote learning and explore other EdTech innovations to keep students, faculty, and staff connected and engaged, EdTech implementation has never been a simple process. That’s why the College Innovation Network (CIN) was launched in 2020. Spearheaded by WGU Labs—Western Governors University’s research and development hub for innovation in education—CIN helps a growing network of postsecondary institutions navigate barriers to EdTech by supporting the full lifecycle of implementation and evaluation. Join us to learn more about findings from CIN’s inaugural cohort and how EdTech companies and institutions can join the expanding network. Participants include:

  • Omid Fotuhi, CIN Director, Research Associate, Learning Research & Development Center (LRDC) based at the Univ. of Pittsburgh, and Director for Learning and Innovation, WGU Labs

Is Blockchain Driving a Revolution in Credential Liquidity

2:55 – 3:35 p.m.

Harbor D, Level 2

There’s no question blockchain is having a moment. With uses ranging from retail to healthcare to banking, these digital ledgers of transactions are quickly finding applicability across multiple industries. What about blockchain’s use in higher education, and specifically, credentials? Learn how the task of verifying and managing digital badge credentials is made more efficient and transparent thanks to the protections blockchain offers. Participants include:

  • Donna Kidwell, Chief Information Security & Digital Trust Officer, ASU - Moderator
  • Kacey Thorne, Director of Skills Architecture, WGU
  • Timothy Summers, Executive Director of Product Development, ASU
  • Danny King, CEO & Founder, Accredible
  • Matthew Pittinsky, CEO, Parchment

Wednesday, August 11

The Academic Surveillance Debate

10:45 – 11:25 a.m.

Seaport Ballroom F, Level 2

The term "surveillance" is currently used in a wide variety of contexts in higher education, from online proctoring to new ways of monitoring health and academic performance. For traditional and online higher education institutions alike, preserving academic integrity and outcomes must be a priority, but do these kinds of academic "surveillance" go too far?

  • Marni Baker Stein, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, WGU - Moderator
  • Michael Olsen, Founder & CEO, Proctorio
  • Arjun Singh, Co-Founder and Former CEO, Gradescope
  • Saad Khan, Chief Innovation & Research Officer, Finetune

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Conversation

1 – 1:55 p.m.

Solana Beach A, Level 3

As WGU looks ahead to its 25th anniversary in 2022, founders of the nation’s leading online nonprofit university will be recognized by GSV as Lifetime Achievement Award recipients and are celebrating with an in-depth conversation on the history and progression of the institution. Participants include:

  • Scott Pulsipher, President, WGU – Moderator
  • Gov. Mike Leavitt, former Governor of Utah and WGU Co-founder
  • Dr. Bob Mendenhall, Founding President, WGU
  • Gov. Roy Romer, former Governor of Colorado and WGU Co-founder

Lifetime Achievement Award Reception, Dinner & Ceremony

5 – 10 p.m.    

The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park

WGU founders, including Gov. Mike Leavitt, Dr. Bob Mendenhall, and Gov. Roy Romer, are being recognized as individuals whose lives have had a profound impact in changing the world for good.

  • Scott Pulsipher, President, WGU
  • Gov. Mike Leavitt, former Governor of Utah and WGU Co-founder
  • Dr. Bob Mendenhall, Founding President, WGU
  • Gov. Roy Romer, former Governor of Colorado and WGU Co-founder
  • Mindy Kaling
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