The American Council on Education, in partnership with Strada Education Network, has launched a thirty-month effort to help colleges and universities align student learning and workforce opportunities.
To that end, a $1.5 million grant from Strada will support efforts by ACE to research, develop, and pilot a Learner Success Lab that provides opportunities for postsecondary institutions to design and implement policies and practices that help students better meet the demands of today's workforce. Modeled after ACE's Internationalization Lab, the Learner Success Lab will convene higher education administrators and faculty in a year-long strategic planning process with the goal of developing policy and practice strategies at their own institutions so they can integrate higher education learning and academic credentials with workforce-ready skills.
With support from the Charles Koch Foundation, ACE also will convene a National Task Force on the Transfer of Credit to conduct a comprehensive review of research on credit for prior learning, competency-based education, and military training as well as successful credit transfer practices, with the goal of improving the transfer and award of credit to better benefit learners and institutions. According to ACE, approximately 65 percent of the jobs in the U.S. economy require some form of postsecondary education, yet fewer than half of Americans between the ages of 25 and 64 hold a credential beyond high school.
"We know the pathways to completion are diverse, and our goal at Strada is to help millions more people achieve completion with a purpose," said Strada president and CEO William D. Hansen. "Any effective effort to improve learner success must consider ways to reduce barriers to student mobility and recognize prior learning and transfer of credit. We are eager to see how this initiative will address the challenges education consumers face as they navigate postsecondary education."