As workforce and learner needs change, so does the nature of post-secondary education. Normally associated with serving traditional students aged 18 to 24, universities are now expanding their focus to serve adult learners who seek to develop new skills and knowledge to advance their careers and to remain competitive in a challenging employment market. Meeting the needs of these learners, who have family and professional obligations, and typically less time to devote to full-time study than traditional students, requires innovative new approaches to education from universities.
Apart from meeting adult learners’ needs, universities are also faced with meeting industry demand and contributing to the development of qualified workforces. Universities are increasingly playing a role in filling expertise gaps and contributing to workforce as well as economic development. In an article published in The EvoLLLution, Dean Nelson Baker of Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE) stated, “The roles of continuing education units are changing with the increased realizations by various stakeholders for how universities can assist their regions in both workforce (talent development) and economic development.”
In this article, authored by David Schejbal, dean of Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning at the Universiry of Wisconsin-Extension, Dean Baker discusses how Georgia Tech is playing a role in workforce development. The article also features input from deans of other post-secondary institutions and lays out how other U.S. universities are changing to meet the evolving needs of its learners and communities. Read more