Preparing for the Future: Navigating Workforce Education Alignment


Cynthia Pascal, Associate Vice President of eLearning, Northern Virginia Community College

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In recent years, higher education administrators have grappled with adapting to the shifting dynamics of the job market. Workforce education continues to play a critical role in equipping learners for the future. To accomplish this, leaders must realign existing programs and introduce new ones in accordance with labor market demands, ensuring learners acquire the essential skills and knowledge. This alignment not only serves the interests of learners but also strengthens regional economic growth and stability.

In a few weeks, at OLC Leadership Network Symposium 2023, senior leaders in online learning will embark on a one-day leadership meeting focusing on how higher education can blur the lines between academic and workforce education. We will discuss:

  • Understanding skills alignment and attainment by identifying high-demand skills through research to anticipate evolving industries, technologies, and competencies shaping the future job market. These findings form the basis for program design.
  • How to forge partnerships with industry leaders, employers, and local businesses to gain insights into sought-after skills and competencies. Such collaborations can lead to internships, micro-internships, apprenticeships, and experiential learning.
  • Reskilling and upskilling opportunities to engage modern learners to adapt to evolving job requirements throughout their careers.

By grasping the concepts of skills alignment, fostering meaningful partnerships, and embracing reskilling and upskilling, educational leaders ensure learners are well-prepared for the future of work. 

Want to be a part of this dynamic discussion? There is still time to register for the upcoming OLC Leadership Network Symposium, taking place October 24, 2023 in Washington, DC. We hope to see you there! 

Thank you to D2L, Honorlock, Perlego, and Uwill for their generous support of the 2023 OLC Leadership Network Symposium.

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