What was once considered a “non-traditional” student can no longer be designated as such. With 29.3% of total enrollments for full-time undergraduate degree programs and 56.5% total enrollments for part-time undergraduate degree programs being made up of learners 22 and older, adult learners constitute a significant portion of the current undergraduate student population (see the National Center for Education Statistics Digest Report for 2019). With the effects of the pandemic still upon us, needs of adult learners have been brought to the forefront, with the added stress of health and safety concerns impacting already existing challenges, like income, time poverty, childcare, and access to education.

After a year of online learning, it is time to cook up something innovative to help support working adult learners thrive in higher ed with this Chopped-inspired design challenge. If you share our passion for creating a higher education industry that is both accessible for working adults, and supports them throughout their journey – join us in the higher ed kitchen. We will be assembling leaders in higher ed (aka educational master chefs) to design different parts of the learner experience – and all must feature our not-so-secret ingredient, the working adult.

OLC and Guild are committed to assisting institutions and leaders alike in their efforts to support the working adult learner. Collectively, we come together for this event to not only amplify the work institutions are already doing, but build a community of leaders around sustainable change-initiatives designed for improving the working adult learning experience.


Program Spotlight

  • Engage in collaborative design sprints to advance industry thinking around how to serve working adult learners with online education
  • Create practical solutions for implementation within local contexts
  • Leave with increased awareness around the barriers that working adult learners face
  • Develop a better understanding of what Higher Education Institutions can do to help support working adults on their education journey


Think you should be at the table with us in October? Email OLC’s Director of Online Engagement (madeline.shellgren@onlinelearning-c.org) to request an invite.



This leadership event is open to all senior leaders and is offered as connected programming to our OLC Accelerate Conference. It will be held in-person on Tuesday, October 5th. Attendees are not only encouraged to attend this event, but all other OLC Accelerate leadership offerings (which include the virtual Leadership Network Summit, the onsite Leadership Meet-Up, the virtual Awards Gala, and the onsite Awards Breakfast).

Registration fees are covered through general conference registration; breakfast, lunch, refreshments, and a cocktail reception are included. That said, please note that this event will be invite only, as we have a limited number of seats (so do register soon to secure your spot).

October 5, 2021 — National Harbor 4
All times are listed in Eastern Daylight Time Zone (EDT)




Collaborative Design Sprints – Round 1


Networking Break


Collaborative Design Sprints – Round 2


Design Sprint Presentations and Review


Cocktail Reception



This event is offered as a connected event to our OLC Accelerate Conference programming and is designed for senior leaders. Register now to secure your spot – seats are limited! Registration for this event is included in your conference registration – there are no additional steps to register for these sessions other than your general conference registration, though please note that there is a section of the registration form dedicated to the October 5th Leadership offerings (one section to register for them all). All virtual summit sessions will be recorded and made available for on-demand viewing for one (1) year post-conference.


More Information

Please contact OLC’s Director of Online Engagement, Madeline Shellgren, at madeline.shellgren@onlinelearning-c.org with any questions.

Want to learn about the Foundry Days model? Please visit the Foundry Days homepage for more information.


Planning Committee

  • Madeline Shellgren, Director of Online Engagement, Online Learning Consortium
  • Darcy Monaghan, Marketing Manager, Guild Education


In partnership with


Guild Education Logo