Intersect With Earl November 2023
by Earl Buford on Nov 01, 2023
Congratulations to Becky Klein-Collins and Kari Shafenberg, who coauthored When It's the Learning That Counts: Competency-based Education and Credit for Prior Learning for Working Learners for New Directions in Continuing Higher Education. The piece examines benefits that competency-based education (CBE) and credit for prior learning (CPL) deliver for adult learners and efforts to reach more students through these time-tested strategies. These are perennially important topics in adult learning, and you’ll see that reflected below.
Walmart’s own declaration that all learning counts is backed by its own approach to CPL. It is recognizing on-the-job and Walmart Academy learning to accelerate credential completion, complementing its competency-based hiring and promotion practices.
There were some silver linings in education among the tragedy and chaos of COVID-19, such as improvements to online modalities and a focus on making the educational experience more flexible. Relief funding sought to support such trends, and while subsidies are winding down, many of the programs they backed are poised to continue thanks to innovation and persistence.
CAEL member mention: The University of Maine will soon launch the Finish Strong program, which is dedicated to helping adult learners earn a credential or degree. Specifically, Finish Strong will serve the critical “some college, no credential” population through individualized resources, including a personal adviser available to each Finish Strong learner.
Matt Waltz and Sarah Schade did a great job presenting CAEL's research on non-degree credentials during the National Council for Workforce Education conference, in Baltimore, where they took the opportunity to strengthen several CAEL connections and forge new ones. Speaking of networking opportunities in Baltimore – it’s not too late to register for CAEL’s own annual conference. I look forward to three days (Nov. 8-10) of learning, networking, and collaboration with leaders from throughout the education-employment ecosystem, and I hope they include you.
Grant opportunity: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a request for applications concentrating on “building a stronger pool of skilled and diverse workers in the water and wastewater utilities sector.” Total funding is $20 million, apportioned among six project areas and an indeterminate number of awardees. Eligible entities include nonprofit community colleges, institutions of higher education, and other nonprofit training and educational institutions, among others. If you are interested in how you might partner with CAEL on an initiative locally, please contact Christina Gaetano email@example.com or Scott Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org. Application must be submitted by Nov. 17.