Leadership Network Symposium: Aligning Workforce Education with the Future of Work

Brief Abstract

As the job market continues to evolve rapidly, it's crucial for educational leaders to adapt their programs and partnerships to meet the changing demands of the workforce. This session will delve into effective strategies for aligning new and redeveloped programs with the needs of the labor market. Attendees will gain insights on structuring skills alignment and attainment, fostering valuable partnerships with employers, and creating reskilling and upskilling opportunities for learners. Join us to explore how to best prepare the workforce of the future through innovative workforce education initiatives.


The OLC Leadership Network Symposium will bring together trailblazers and influential voices in our field in a highly collaborative one-day event, fostering discussions and debates about our digital learning futures. Together, we will determine our top priorities for the upcoming year, addressing the most significant challenges and opportunities facing our field. It aims to collectively identify areas that require our focused attention in addressing the ubiquitous challenges and promising opportunities for creating equitable, inclusive, and quality online and blended education. This year’s symposium promises a truly engaging experience, featuring a keynote address, panel discussions, and numerous networking opportunities. Do not miss out on this unique and prestigious event, where you can connect with leaders from around the world and gain valuable insights into critical topics. Learn More and Register: https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/attend-2023/accelerate/leadership-network-symposium/


Terry Di Paolo is Vice Provost of eLearning for Dallas College. He has served as an academic administrator in multiple roles leading major strategic projects associated with college transformation, academic technology and quality in online learning and teaching. Terry moved to Texas in 2012 having spent over a decade as an academic at the United Kingdom’s Open University. With an interest in ways in which technologies and systems enhance the student experience, Terry’s career has straddled both academic affairs and student success. He is a specialist in online learning and teaching and draws on his experience as a social scientist to innovate in the higher education space through a socio-cultural lens.
Dr. Cynthia Pascal is the Associate Vice President of eLearning at Northern Virginia Community College's online division, overseeing Faculty Services, Instructional Design, Student Services, and Educational Technology Support Services for over 550 faculty and 28,000 asynchronous students. She and her team prioritize inclusive, culturally responsive practices to promote student success through authentic engagement and open pedagogy. When not serving NOVA, she supports higher education leaders in designing holistic support services, policies, and practices to better serve marginalized and non-traditional populations.
Dr. Luke Dowden is the Chief Online Learning Officer for the Alamo Colleges District. Through Alamo Colleges Online, he leads and supports capacity-building initiatives at all five community colleges so each may gain a greater market share of online learners in their respective service areas. He joined the Quality Matters Board of Directors in 2021 and is a current member of the QM Board’s Executive Committee, serves on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Learning Technology Advisory Committee, and is a member of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) Council for Credential Innovation Leadership. He is a past Steering Committee and Executive Council Chair for the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). Dr. Dowden has been honored four consecutive years by either the Emerging Leaders Program as a Trusted Leader (2019, 2020) or by Alamo Colleges Academy for Leadership Success (ALAS) as an Essential Leader (2021, 2022). In May 2022, Dr. Dowden was honored as one of three recipients of the new Excellence in Leadership Practice Award from the 2022 Emerging Leaders Class. He was named to the Online Learning Consoritum’s distinguished Class of Fellows in 2022. Dr. Dowden was honored in 2023 by 1EdTech with a Leadership Award in Digital Credentials. Dr. Dowden earned a bachelor’s in History and a master’s degree in Adult Education from Northwestern State University before earning his Doctorate of Education in higher education administration in 2009 (Nova Southeastern University). He is a 2010 Graduate of the Penn State and Online Learning Consortium Institute for Emerging Leaders in Online Learning (IELOL).
Dr. Andrew Shean is the Chief Learning Officer at Penn Foster where he leads academic program leadership, curriculum/courseware, academic support, faculty, non-academic support, and academic operations in pursuit of improving student lives. Penn Foster recently earned one of the best online providers in 2023 from Newsweek. Previously, Dr. Shean was the Senior Vice President & Chief Academic Officer at National Education Partners. In the earlier stages of his career, Dr. Shean has served in a variety of roles: the Chief Academic Learning Officer for Bridgepoint Education, Vice Provost for Ashford University, Executive Dean for the College of Education at Ashford University, and helped lead the Poway Unified School District’s initiative to develop online and 1-1 education programs. He also served as a high school English teacher where he was named the 2009 District Teacher of the Year. In 2014, Dr. Shean was selected to be one of six faculty to lead the Institute for Engaged Leadership in Online Education through Penn State World Campus in partnership with Online Learning Consortium. In 2017, Dr. Shean was selected as a Chief Academic Officer Digital Fellow, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation along with 31 other CAO's from across the country. Dr. Shean currently serves on the Association for Chief Academic Officers Board of Trustees, is sought out to give keynotes, and is highly involved in academic research. Dr. Shean earned his Doctorate of Educational Leadership and Management degree from Alliant International University. He holds an MA in Education and a BA in Sociology from the University of Northern Colorado.

Extended Abstract