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Learn more now about the 2023 CAEL Conference in Baltimore, MD!

Microcourses from CAEL

CAEL is developing a series of microcourses for our members. These are professional development experiences that build capabilities for better support of adult learners.

Self-paced and designed to be completed in less than an hour, each microcourse provides a high-level overview of a specific topic of interest. The courses incorporate subject matter expert interviews that feature both industry and postsecondary education perspectives. They also offer best practices in the form of toolkits, job aids, and case studies. All microcourses are free to CAEL members.

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Microcourses Open to CAEL Members

Improving Programs with Labor Market Data

Without a foundational understanding, and use, of regional and national labor market data, postsecondary institutions are missing the opportunity to target programs to verifiable job opportunities that meet the needs of workforce partners and adult learners in a region.

Engaging Adult Learners as Consumers

As adult learners enter the post-secondary system in higher numbers, they bring new perspectives and life responsibilities to the equation. What changes for a post-secondary institution when it views their programs as products and learners as consumers? How can a consumer approach improve the learner experience without sacrificing academic integrity? In this course, we’ll explore what it means to engage students using a consumer approach. We'll identify advantages of the consumer approach, and tangible ways to evolve in this direction. 

Attracting Adults to Your Institution

Most marketing efforts are aimed at traditional students, but adult learners evaluate institutions and programs along a different set of criteria and may respond to different messaging. When institutions neglect to market to this population, they miss opportunities to highlight their strengths and differentiators and how they meet the needs of adult learners in a way that resonates with this population.

Building Blocks for Effective PLA Programs

Prior Learning Assessment, or PLA, is a proven intervention that helps learners reduce their educational costs and time to graduation. An effective PLA program can be a source of many positive outcomes, from increased probability of retention and persistence, to learners feeling confident and validated. In this course, we will explore the components of a PLA program, and help you begin to formulate a PLA model that will work for your institution.

Strengthening Employer Partnerships

Partnerships between employers and institutions support learners in connecting learning with skill development that leads to workplace success. Thriving employer partnerships can provide learners with work-based learning opportunities, assist employers with hiring and training, and accelerate program adaptations in response to emerging trends in hiring. In this course, we’ll explore proven engagement strategies for each stage of the employer engagement process, the experiences of post-secondary colleagues and employers who are currently engaged in this work, and the steps you can take to make your employer partnerships a success.

Designing Stackable Credentials

As post secondary education providers acknowledge the growing number of adult learners coming through the doors, program adaptations that limit the time and cost burdens that learners experience and improve their employability must be considered. Stackable credentials, sometimes called micro-credentials, allow learners to cycle between learning and earning more efficiently without sacrificing future educational attainment. In this course, we'll explore the benefits of a stackable learning model and the path it takes to get there.

Embedding Experiential Learning into your Programs

For adult learners, meeting the demands of their current job, or the qualifications to compete for a new one, may require that they demonstrate progress in developing new workplace skills as part of their academic program. Experiential learning -- a term used to describe a variety of approaches that incorporate practical, hands-on learning into the course of study -- can transform an adult learner’s experience of post-secondary education. In this course, we’ll explore different approaches to experiential learning, their use-cases, and how post-secondary institutions and industry partners can define and create solutions together.


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