The Education Design Lab’s #Micropathways initiative celebrates its first year with a new report and a second cohort

– New Report: Lab Unveils 30+ Micropathway Models and Design Ideas from First Cohort of Community College Growth Engine Fund – New Cohort Announced: Four Leading Community College Systems Join Fund – National Meeting: Leaders of colleges, employers + funders gather on January 19

WASHINGTON DC, January 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Education Design Lab, a national nonprofit organization that designs, implements and scales new learning models for higher education and the future of work, announced today today releasing its first-year information in a new report, along with the second cohort of colleges participating in the nationally recognized program Community College Growth Engine Fund (the Fund) which designs micro-courses, a new class of diplomas.

(PRNewsfoto/Educational Design Lab)

NEW REPORT: We are at a pivotal time to forge the robust changes needed to better serve majority new learners. As community colleges continue to grapple with pandemic-amplified inequality, the Lab releases its latest Summary of design ideas, with micro-lane patterns co-created through its human-centered design process. Previews include:

  • Learners need hands-on journeys with a clear return on investment (ROI) as well as flexibility in format and timing.

  • Employers see the micro-pathway co-design process as transformative for deepening their relationships with community colleges.

  • For community colleges, the micro-pathway design process can serve as a gateway to institutional transformation.

COHORT 2 ANNOUNCEMENT: Building on the momentum of the first cohort, which included Seattle Colleges (WA), Pima Community College (AZ), Ivy Tech Community College (In the City University of New York (NY), Prince George’s Community College (MD) and Austin Community College District (TX), the Fund announces four new colleges and systems for Year 2 (and their sectoral focus areas under consideration):

  • Colorado Community College System (Energy + Health)

  • Maricopa Community Colleges in Arizona (Advanced Manufacturing + IT)

  • Bunker Hill Community College in Boston (Health + IT)

  • the Philadelphia Community College (Health care; STEAM life sciences + technology; and transport + logistics)

dr. Lisa Larson, Head of the Community College Growth Engine Fund: “Learners’ attitudes towards school and work are changing, employers are at the table looking for new solutions, and community colleges are about to change. There has never been a time more pressing to understand what the next generation of community colleges are and, importantly, how to get there. So far, we have seen firsthand how the Fund’s Micro-pathway model and design process can serve as a gateway to the transformation of community colleges.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Education Design Lab and roll out this exciting approach to curriculum design in our colleges,” noted Joe Garcia, chancellor of the Colorado Community College System. “This collaboration keeps us at the forefront of workplace learning innovation and will help us meet the needs of our growing population of adult learners.”

dr. Steven R. Gonzales, Chancellor of Maricopa Community College District: “This generous support and investment from the Community College Growth Engine Fund will enable our East Valley colleges to strengthen community partnerships to support new pathways to employment in high-demand fields.

dr. Pam Eddinger, President, Bunker Hill Community College: “With the average community college student around 27 years old, there is a need for career paths in the labor market for the adult learner.”

Dr. Donald Guy Generals, President, Philadelphia Community College: “Now, more than ever, it’s important that students have access to intentional, industry-recognized training that will help them secure jobs to support their families.”

NATIONAL MEETING: College leaders, employers and funders will discuss the transformative micro-pathways initiative at a national meeting on Wednesday January 19. The virtual event is noon to 3 p.m. EST. Register: https://eddesignlab.org/ccgefconvening/

What are micro-channels? Co-designed with learners and employers, micro-pathways are defined as two or more stackable degrees, including a 21st Century Micro-Certificate of Competence, which are delivered flexibly to be completed in less than a year and lead to employment at or above the local median wage.

About the Education Design Lab: The Lab is a national non-profit organization that co-designs, prototypes and tests workforce education models through a human-centered design process focused on understanding learners’ experiences, addressing equity gaps in higher education and connecting majority new learners to economic mobility. the Community College Growth Engine Fund, directed by dr. Lisa Larson, is a design accelerator set up just before the pandemic to help community colleges consider a future role as regional talent agents. We would like to thank the Charles Koch Foundation, Walmart.org and the Walton Family Foundation for their initial investment, as well as the Arizona Community Foundation, Jeffrey H. and Shari L. Aronson Family Foundation, Ascendium Education Group, The Beacon Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Citizens Bank, deLaski Family Foundation, Garcia Foundation, Patrick J. McGovern Foundation and ZOMA Foundation. This rating does not reflect the position or opinions of the investing partners. Learn more: www.eddesignlab.org.

Join the Lab’s network of innovators: Twitter + LinkedIn + E-mail

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SOURCE Instructional Design Lab

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