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January 21 Webinar to Focus on How to Strengthen Strategies by Centering Adult Learner Perspectives

In November, the CAEL annual conference spurred some great conversations around best practices and new ideas. In a one-hour webinar on January 21,  we’ll build on that dialogue with new insights on how we can help actualize these ideas by listening effectively to the adult learners they seek to support.

As we reflect on the year gone by, it’s easy to focus on the drastic changes that 2020 brought to our economy and education system. With the pandemic sending the unemployment rate skyward, and catapulting education from in-person to online delivery on a head-spinning timeline, the scope and scale of the challenges seemed to demand a new set of solutions.

Yet much of what felt unprecedented was a magnification of what was already in place. Even before the pandemic, 44 million Americans struggled in the labor market, lacking a degree beyond a high school diploma and earning less than a living wage. Rapid changes in technology and automation left many workers vulnerable. And systemic inequities in higher education access and completion locked many out of economic opportunity.

Then as now, for these individuals to achieve their career goals, and fully participate in a strong and resilient economic recovery, they will need to return to education for work-relevant training. For postsecondary institutions to effectively serve these learners, traditional programs must evolve to put their needs and priorities at the center. 

While doing so is no easy task, many institutions and learning providers are paving the way with new approaches and strategies, often developed through innovative partnerships and collaborations. Each of these approaches is deeply informed by the needs and experiences of the learner. Together, they bring to life a learner-centered ecosystem, connecting targeted education with comprehensive support like navigation, coaching, wraparound services, and opportunities for work-based training. 

In a January 21 webinar presented by the Strada Institute for the Future of Work, three innovators and educators will discuss their pioneering approaches to serving adult learners, and share insights into how listening to learners can drive more equitable outcomes. Hear perspectives from Sheila Sarem, founder and president of Project Basta, on supporting career navigation for first-generation and students of color; Kathleen deLaski, founder and president of Education Design Lab, on designing stackable, targeted career-focused programs; and Gigi Escoe, Ph.D., vice provost for Undergraduate Studies and dean, Experience-Based Learning and Career Education at the University of Cincinnati, on her institution’s approach to integrating work and learning. 

Join the webinar to learn how you can infuse these approaches into your own work, and tune into what matters by listening to learners.


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If your institution or organization is seeking guidance, solutions, or support from CAEL, or if you have an idea for a future collaboration initiative with us, please reach out. We'd love to connect.

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