The Tennessee Credentialing Initiative and Driving to 55: Beyond MR (Mixed Reality) to XR (Extended Reality) For On Demand Workforce Training

Concurrent Session 9
Blended HBCU

Brief Abstract

Tennessee has become a national leader in its innovative approaches to credentialing and completion for its citizens. Higher Education, the Department of Labor, and other agencies associated with upskilling thorugh Workforce Development have a unique opportunity to create a platform using emerging technologies for on-demand traning. 


Dr. Michael Torrence serves as the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, TN and is committed to leading students toward success. He, along with his team of Learning Support Professionals, leads the way for academic support in the areas of Reading, Writing, Emerging Technology, Community Engagement, and Mathematics. Dr. Torrence’s interest in championing workforce and academic success is focused on providing a clearer pathway towards graduation and employment. He also leads multiple departments in the service of over 8,700 students at 4 campus/site locations. The office of Distributed Education (which is engaged in hybrid, online, mode neutral,faculty training, and use of tech tools/software to enhance teaching and learning) has an enrollment of over 3,000 online students. He is a recognized leader in the creation of collaborate partnerships, innovation, and training. Dr. Torrence was formerly an Assistant Professor of Education, Assistant Dean of Academics and Student Services, and Dean of the Library and Educational Support Services. He is a team member and Co-chair of the Tennessee Board of Regents Mobilization and Emerging Technology team and Also Chairs the Tennessee Board of Regents TNeCampus Oversight Committee. Dr. Torrence, serves as a mentor and also as a Rotarian. He is a graduate of the American Association of Community College’s Future Leaders Institute, the League for Innovation in Community College Executive Leadership Institute, Geir Scholar Recipient, and is a Maxine Smith Fellow. Dr. Torrence holds a Ph.D. in Exceptional Learning with a concentration in Literacy from Tennessee Technological University, and a M.A. and B.A. in English from South Dakota State University.

Extended Abstract

The Drive to 55 means...? Distribution Centers, Banking, Human Resources, Information Technology, Health Agencies (Hospitals and Clinics), Higher Education, Secondary School Systems, and Prisons/Juvenile Detention Centers could utilize approaches to retrain and reclass the working age populations they reach. Focusing on the current technologies of AR, MR, XR, Manufacuturing, and Coding this session will broach the use of emerging technologies in an effort to reach the Drive to 55 and beyond.