“For more than a decade, for-profit colleges and universities have been agents of educational change—driving innovation by promoting online learning as an alternative to traditional classroom instruction. Now it’s time for these institutions to use their years of experience as leaders on the online learning front lines to shape what must come next for higher education: increased student success.”
As higher education becomes increasingly important in today’s job market, student success at all institution types is key. But what can colleges and universities that focus on professional education do to lead other institutions on this path to student success? We address this question in our new position paper, “NOW is the Time to Raise the Bar for Student Success: How Professional Colleges & Universities Can Use the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Drive Change.”
From where we sit, career colleges must continue to embrace disruptive innovation to bring effective change to higher education, even if this requires overturning norms that are taken for granted. For example, we believe some of the most important disruptive trends today – which are already embraced by career colleges – include:
- Focusing on competency-based outcomes instead of credit hour completion.
- Increasing rigor in the course-building process to better emphasize learning outcomes.
- Integrating of professional skills into coursework.
On this blog, we often discuss the reasons professional and career colleges can offer tremendous opportunities to non-traditional students who may not otherwise have a chance at higher education. But what exactly is a non-traditional (or “at-risk”) student, and how can those of us in the higher education space ensure that those students receive the best education possible?
First, let’s define what it means to be a non-traditional student. According to the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), students are considered non-traditional if they have one or more of the following characteristics when they are first-time, first year students:
- Financially independent
- Over the age of 25
- Delayed entry into college
- Full time work
- Attending school part-time
- Have dependents
- Single parent
- No high school diploma
Recently, we had the opportunity to partner with the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) and GovLoop’s Andrew Krzmarzick to host a webinar on mentorship within government. In the presentation, Krzmarzick described the evolution of mentorship and the growing need for effective, government-wide mentorship programs.
In the beginning of his presentation, Krzmarzick points out that while professional mentorship itself is long-established, there is a new type of “social mentorship” that has recently taken root. According to his definition, social mentorship “leverages social networks and social media to forge connections among individuals in need of advice, admonition, or assistance.” And he should know, as GovLoop is already harnessing social mentoring for the benefit of government.
Are French fries the same as French toast? Is chocolate milk the same as chocolate cake? Just because two items share similar names (and are delicious), does not make them the same.
Such is the case with Social Learning and Social Media.
I agree with @dpeter who tweeted:
Why does this matter in the classroom? Social learning and social media can exist separately in the educational setting, or can co-exist in support of social learning, but they are not one in the same. Want to dig a bit deeper into the world of Social Learning? Here are some good resources to get you started.
We’re myth-busting. Click here to read on: Social Media Is the Same as Social Learning
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Dana Aldis, LivingSocial’s, Director of Sales Training and Development, to discuss how her company uses Blackboard’s Salesforce integration throughout the sales training process. If you’re not familiar with LivingSocial, it is the local marketplace to buy and share the best things in your city (and their headquarters is just across the street from Blackboard’s here in D.C.!). Since LivingSocial relies heavily on developing relationships with small businesses to create unique offers for its members, having an informed, agile sales force is critical to the company’s success.
Q: Why did you decide to incorporate your training programs within Salesforce?
Aldis: Salesforce is one of the main ways we communicate with our sales team, so having this integration is key. Through Blackboard’s integration with Salesforce, for example, our users can access training directly from Salesforce so training courses are easy to access and are more directly aligned with company goals. The powerful reporting tools have also been a huge asset allowing us to see what training is most useful to individual sales reps while analyzing the relationship between a rep’s training and performance metrics.