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Building a Vital Ecosystem for Frontline Workers

Posted by Dawn Lang

Topics: Talent Management, Adult Learning, career development, Career Pathing, Talent Mobility

Frontline workers now represent a significant percentage of America’s workforce. But what defines a frontline worker? Those who interact with customers, make products, and/or provide services fall within this demographic. Most of these workers make less than $30,000 a year and do not have a degree. That makes frontline workers a prime population for upskilling opportunities. With more training and new skills, many of these workers could be better positioned for career advancement. 

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The Case for Apprenticeships in 2019

Posted by Dawn Lang

Topics: Workforce Development, Employee Engagement, Career Mapping, Career Pathing

For many people, mention apprenticeships and they immediately think of programs supported by labor unions that provide on-the-job training in a technical trade such as plumbing, HVAC or construction. Apprenticeships in the 21st century look very different, though, as more technology and service fields such as nursing, education, IT, energy and the insurance industry embrace apprenticeships. Leaders in these fields see apprenticeships as a way of filling the growing number of middle-skills jobs, defined as jobs that require some postsecondary education but less than a four-year college degree.

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My Learning Matters—Colleges and Universities Should Not Dismiss Diverse Learning Experiences

Posted by Sean Hudson

Topics: Adult Student Success, Prior Learning Assessments (PLA), Adult Learning, Adult Learning Success

As an adult, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve acquired a decent amount of your knowledge and skills from experiences that took place outside the classroom. Whether you learned about software programming from helping your mother access her music on her computer or you’re a pro in Microsoft Excel from your years of designing pivot tables, the way you gained your abilities is derived from your life experiences. Many colleges and universities will give you the opportunity to demonstrate your existing skills through different methods of examination known as prior learning assessment (PLA). For example, you may take a standardized test (e.g., the College-Level Examination Program [CLEP] exam) to demonstrate your mastery in a particular subject, such as history. Or, you may put together a portfolio showcasing your years of work experience as, say, a researcher, to demonstrate that you don’t need to take a college-level statistics course.

So, imagine going back to school and attempting to get PLA credit for knowledge you already have, only to be told, “Sorry, that experience doesn’t count.” That would seem quite unfair, right? Well, that’s what’s happening for some native and heritage speakers of non-English languages.

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CAEL President Marie A. Cini Discusses the New Normal College Student

Posted by Brian Sorenson

Topics: Adult Student Success, Trends in Higher Education, Adult Learning, Employee Training, Adult Learning Success, Skills Gap

Is it obvious to most observers that the way college is depicted on the silver screen is only a pale imitation of what higher education truly offers to learners, especially when it comes to so-called nontraditional students? (Think: Melissa McCarthy's character in the 2018 comedy "Life of the Party.") Hollywood continues to perpetuate the enduring perception that college is still merely a haven for young people to let loose, and that narrative comes at the expense of a rising tide with more and more adult students. We need to stop thinking of these students as fish out of water and realize that they represent the new normal of higher education.

CAEL President Marie A. Cini is responding to that narrative with one of her own.

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Skills Gaps Can Shrink: CAEL Brings Community and Industry Stakeholders Together, from New York City to Houston

Posted by Matthew DeMarco

Topics: Workforce Development, Talent Management, Employee Training, Skills Gap

Linking learning and work is not a one-size-fits-all process. Aligning the interests and actions of multiple parties—including job seekers, industry stakeholders, regional government and workforce bodies, and educational institutions—is a challenging task, but the results can significantly improve outcomes for all of the players involved.

Recently, CAEL has undertaken multiple projects to enhance workforce pipelines by connecting job seekers with the training they need so they can fill the jobs their regions are known for, as well as to enter career paths those job seekers might not have even considered previously, providing new sources of talent for employers who are in need of skilled people.

We sat down with Lewis Brown, director of client relations here at CAEL, to discuss two of the recent projects that CAEL has pursued in partnership with the petrochemical industry in Texas and the financial services sector in New York City.


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Florida group supports expansion of PLA across the state

Posted by Josh Klein

Topics: Adult Student Success, Best Practices, Trends in Higher Education, Prior Learning Assessments (PLA), Adult Learning Success

Complete Florida was created in 2013 to help the millions of adults across the state who have earned some college credit, but not a degree. The services offered by Complete Florida are completely free for participants, and they help individuals to complete a certificate or degree program. Ultimately, this boost can make it possible for participants to achieve employment in high-demand occupations.
 
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) plays an integral role in the Complete Florida framework. Through assessments that evaluate students’ existing skill sets, the state of Florida recognizes the importance of adults being able to obtain credit for their years of on-the-job experience.

 

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Adapt and Pivot: Talking Strategy on the Eve of the Inaugural Latino Adult Student Success Convening

Posted by Rafael Pasillas

Topics: Adult Student Success, Trends in Higher Education, Adult Learning Success, Adult Learner 360, Adult Learner Academy

In August 2018, CAEL launched an ambitious new project to improve outcomes for adult Latino students in higher education. The Adult Learner 360 Academy for HSIs is an ongoing initiative to work with 15 Hispanic-serving institutions from across the country:

Austin Community College, TX
Bronx Community College, NY
California State University-Sacramento, CA
Estrella Mountain Community College, AZ
Florida International University, FL
Lehman College, NY
Phoenix College, AZ
Richard J. Daley College, IL
South Texas College, TX
Texas A&M University-San Antonio, TX
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, TX
Union Institute & University, OH
University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, TX
University of Wisconsin-Parkside, WI
West Los Angeles Community College, CA

Funded by generous support from The Kresge Foundation, Ascendium Education Group and Greater Texas Foundation, this three-year project, in partnership with Excelencia in Education, will help the participating HSIs identify areas where they can enhance their services. CAEL will provide professional development, tools and research to support the participants.

As part of the program, the partner HSIs will come together annually with CAEL and Excelencia in Education for the Latino Adult Student Success Convening (LASSC). With our first convening for the initiative on the horizon later in February, we asked our funders what drew them to this project and why they’re involved in the cause to support working adult Latino students.

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Amazon's HQ2: A Lesson in Skills Gaps

Posted by Brian Sorenson

Topics: Workforce Development, Talent Management, Employee Training, Skills Gap

Amazon announced its choices for the coveted HQ2 locations more than two months ago, and the decision continues to elicit commentary nationwide. Of course, given everything at stake—Amazon says it will invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 new jobs across the two locations—it’s no surprise that the decision continues to be a topic of discussion.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos attributed his company’s decision to open its additional headquarters in Northern Virginia and New York City to the supply of “world-class talent” in both areas. Framed that way, it’s easy to see how leaders in other communities—not just those that were in the running for HQ2, but also those that have future aspirations to invite such economic development to their regions—could come away from Amazon’s decision second-guessing their own talent pipelines.

If economic heavyweights like Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas failed to win over Amazon, how are other communities to compete?

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A Modern-day Rosetta Stone for the Future of Work

Posted by Michelle R. Weise

Topics: Talent Management, Adult Learning, Employee Training, Baby Boomers, Millennials, Skills Gap

Michelle R. Weise is a higher education expert who specializes in disruptive innovation and the future of learning and work. She is the senior vice president of workforce strategies for Strada Education Network and is also the Chief Innovation Officer. Her research focuses on the future of the workforce and how to connect students more directly to promising and meaningful employment pathways throughout their working lives.
 
Join Michelle R. Weise this November at the 2018 CAEL International Conference as she explores key findings from recent research.
 

 
Policymakers, educators and employers are vigorously debating how best to prepare Americans for the future of work. There are those who believe that the “hard” skills of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are most critical to the future, and those who believe the uniquely “human” skills of the liberal arts are the ones that will endure in the face of automation. At Strada Institute for the Future of Work, we say, “both, and.” It is the integration of human and technical skills that will provide the best preparation for the future of work: programing and ethics; artificial intelligence (AI) and emotional intelligence; logic with values and judgment.
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How does your institution attract and engage adult learners?

Posted by Valerie Delleville

Topics: Structural Approaches to Learning, Adult Learning

Adult learners are not a population to ignore: there are nearly 37 million of them in the U.S. with some college and no degree. This total doesn’t even consider the millions of adult learners who are seeking out first time enrollment in post-secondary programs. When compared to the expected 2019 high school graduation population of 3.6 million, it becomes obvious why adult learners are so critical to any institution’s sustainability.

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