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11 things Informed institutions look for in an LMS

If you’re looking to become a transformative higher ed institution, you need an effective, comprehensive Learning Management System (LMS) that elevates performance and engages a student-centric workforce. When you create effective learning programs for your employees, they can focus on helping the students who need them the most. To help you on this journey, we've identified 11 key factors to consider when looking for a new LMS.

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Why You Shouldn't Overlook Candidates With an Alternative Education

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Why You Shouldn't Overlook Candidates With an Alternative Education

More students are pursuing higher education than ever before—but at a higher cost. The result? The national student debt burden is approaching $1.5 trillion, and in 2016 the average college student graduated with over $37,000 in student loans. For many potential college students who are now the future of our workforce, this process has become untenable. To find jobs, they need skills, but at what cost? I'm hardly alone in advocating for HR practices that seek unconventional candidates for employment—namely individuals with varied expertise, nontraditional career paths and those who have acquired higher education in a unique university setting (or outside of a university entirely). Scott Pulsipher, president of Western Governors University (WGU), also believes in the importance of competency over a flashy degree. WGU provides an education to students on unconventional learning paths and prepares them for the workforce in more practical ways. The school was founded just over 20 years ago and has awarded close to 100,000 degrees, today serving approximately 85,000 students. I interviewed Pulsipher for the Disrupt Yourself Podcast to understand more about the benefits of alternative education programs and why he believes organizations should recruit talent with non-traditional educational backgrounds. Degrees Aren't Everything WGU's programs aren't designed for traditional college-aged students. Rather, the university provides an opportunity for working adults who have sometimes earned college credits, but not a full degree. There are more than 31 million such adults in the U.S. Often they live in rural areas, where educational access is poor and the education ethos less developed. Because it costs about half as much as a state school, a WGU education is more attainable. "On average, WGU graduates earn nearly $20,000 more in income than they did when they started. Our average student is 37 years old, our oldest graduates are in their late 70s and early 80s," according to Pulsipher. From a hiring perspective, these graduates are a gold mine—they have life experiences, and are often hungry for previously denied opportunities to prove themselves. WGU's programs are fully online, all emphasizing practical, high-demand expertise: business, technology, health services and teaching. Contrary to popular belief, many jobs in these fields do not require four-year degrees. Thanks to technology that can now do a lot of the heavy lifting, many roles now simply require competency in a specific field and adaptability to new tools. WGU's approach ensures that graduates obtain just that. It's About Competency, Not Curriculum WGU employs an entirely competency-based grading model. "If you're competent, then you're meeting the standards that are needed in the workplace environment for that core subject matter. There are no grades; you either pass or you don't," Pulsipher explains. One benefit of this alternative education model is that it ensures that students actually learn everything they need to know in order to perform the tasks associated with the jobs they'll be seeking. Plus, with no required electives or liberal arts courses, students can focus on gaining specific skills targeted to their future jobs. WGU isn't right for everyone, but for a sizeable piece of the adult population, it offers an accessible, cost-effective alternative to the traditional university. Many jobs still require a traditional university education and advanced degrees, but others do not, and for those who've been left behind by unattainable educational opportunities, even basic jobs can be out of reach. Through WGU's model, these students reach their potential, improve their competencies and contribute to the workforce. The takeaway for HR professionals is that unconventional educational paths can provide an expansive pool of well-qualified talent that shouldn't be dismissed. There are advantages to hiring candidates overlooked by others—these capable people can bring not only specialized competency to the table, but also life experience, stability and the drive to prove what they can do. Photo: Creative Commons

Cartoon Coffee Break | Education Requirements

Publicação em blog

Cartoon Coffee Break | Education Requirements

Editor's Note: This post is part of our "Cartoon Coffee Break" series. While we take talent management seriously, we also know it's important to have a good laugh. Check back every two weeks for a new ReWork cartoon. Header Photo: Creative Commons

Talent Management and Succession Planning in Higher Education

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Talent Management and Succession Planning in Higher Education

America’s higher learning institutions educate and develop society’s future thinkers and leaders. It’s ironic, then, that it seems many don’t develop their own administrative staff or leadership talent. Administrator Talent Crisis Research shows talent and succession planning is lacking at America’s colleges and universities. The American Council on Education (ACE), for example, reports in a survey that the talent pipeline of potential administrative leaders in academia is getting short shrift, as ACE reports that less than a third of all sitting chief academic officers are aspiring to presidencies or chancellorships. That’s not good, but it gets worse. Research also shows that many tenure-track faculty members also are deciding to stay in the classroom, reluctant to pursue new challenges as administrators. Here are some startling statistics that fortify the notion that academia’s talent pipeline needs serious tending. For example: Nationally, more than 40 percent of the top investment executives within universities and endowments left in 2005 and 2006, according to a 2007 compensation survey by Mercer A national study of 323 chief academic officers, conducted by Eduventures Academic Leadership Learning Collaborative, found that 43 percent of provosts surveyed are holding their positions for shorter periods of time. A 2009 study of chief academic officers by the ACE found that the average tenure was 4.7 years on the job — less than half that of presidents Where to Go From Here It’s a dicey situation, but not an impossible one to overcome. For starters, effective succession planning starts with performance management supported by learning and development programs. Follow that "curriculum" and universities soon will discover potential leaders from within the ranks. Of course, one thing you don’t want when filling critical administrative posts is guesswork. For many universities, performance management is merely an annual HR process to appraise performance, as opposed to an effort to improve performance or identify future leaders. Saddled with homegrown, paper-based processes, institutions often use performance management tools and approaches that fail to take advantage of the automation, integration and depth of technology available today. Or institutions may have processes that don’t enable managers to have meaningful, actionable discussions with their direct reports. The solution is more strategic talent and peformanance management processes, supported by the right technology that can better lead, manage, develop, reward and assess employees in a concise, standardized way. To make succession planning a reality, university leaders need a performance management system that: Provides cascading goals that align the objectives of the institution with the professional goals and needs of the employee. Managing and measuring the employee performance of each of these goals is critical to performance management, but without automation and integration, it becomes a time-consuming, daunting task. Assesses critical competencies and skills based on pre-defined criteria for staff success. Institutional leaders need an easy-to-use system that helps them predict and address potential competency gaps, performance strengths and opportunities. Reviews and measures performance on a ongoing and interim basis. The cascading goals an employee will be assessed by might not reflect the institution’s current goals and objectives. Automated and integrated systems make managing and assessing performance an ongoing process — always keeping the employee and the institution aligned. Identifies and tracks high-performing individuals. Performance management enables institution leaders to know who is a high-potential employee with the skills and motivation to transition into a leadership or administrative staff position. Enables the creation of development plans that engage employee career development. Identifying high-performing, high-potential employees is great, but even more important is creating career development plans for those employees. Ultimately, institutional leaders have an opportunity to better gather insight into the skills, knowledge and competencies that succession-ready employees have at hand – and, further, to turn this insight into action and talent they should develop for the future.

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