An Innovator in Lifelong and Life-wide Learning
As lifespans continue to increase and more people seek education outside traditional modes of delivery, lifelong and life-wide education will become increasingly important, requiring attention to more than formal preK-16 schooling. Our focus must be on a much longer “education pipeline,” one that includes family needs and interactions from birth to preschool, ongoing professional development for job and career success, and avocational and personal exploration following retirement. Of equal importance is where and how people learn “life-wide”; that is, across a range of formal and informal experiences in a variety of settings, including home, museums and other cultural spaces, athletics, political involvement, workplaces, among others.
SoE will link its expertise with that of Drexel’s other colleges, centers and offices to make the University a resource for the study and practice of teaching and learning in lifelong and life-wide contexts and the application of technology to enhance and expand opportunities in both areas.
1. Expand SoE programs and research on adult learners and about lifelong and life- wide education
Drexel has set an institutional goal of ensuring that the people of our neighborhoods are well-prepared for the demands of the 21st century economy and that, through programs like Philadelphia’s Digital On-Ramps, adults can obtain the skills they needs for jobs and careers. SoE will expand its research on adult learning and work with Drexel partners like the Goodwin School of Professional Studies and the Office of University and Community Partnerships in the development, design and testing of new programs and services for adult learners.
- Develop models for non-degree programs that provide skills and training to adults in response to the needs of employers and offer reliable certification other than a traditional academic degree.
- Provide research, development, and testing of innovative credentialing approaches that will be especially applicable to lifelong and life-wide learners, as well as to employers looking for evidence of the capabilities of potential employees with non- traditional education experiences.
- Establish partnerships among Drexel’s Center for Labor Markets and Policy, the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement and the School of Education’s Critical Conversations in Urban Education to offer thought leadership and public events relating to workforce development.
- Work with the LeBow College of Business, the Steinbright Career Development Center, the Lindy Center, the Dornsife Center, and others at Drexel to develop and/or expand:
- Career-counseling and professional development services for adults who are exploring new career and technical skills.
- Partnerships with corporate, public, and nonprofit employers as well as area school districts looking for innovative ways to provide ongoing training and professional development for employees.
- Establish and implement high-quality school leadership training through executive weekends for school leaders (principals, assistant principals, etc.).
- Create high-quality informal learning opportunities outside of traditional educational institutions through partnerships with organizations such as area museums, performing arts centers, historical associations, and the like.
2. Establish SoE as a resource for sustaining Drexel’s leadership position in online education and technology-enabled learning
Drexel has been a leader in online education as a result of its early adoption of technology-enhanced education for working adults, SoE’s successful expansion of research and practice in online teaching and learning, and the extensive programming offered through Drexel University Online (DUO) and several Drexel colleges. As the market for online learning becomes more competitive, SoE will aid the University in maintaining its leadership position by bringing SoE’s expertise in online pedagogy, assessment, instruction design, and curricula together with the talents and experiences of DUO and the colleges.
- Work with Drexel’s colleges, centers, and offices to develop and test innovative new approaches to online instruction and technology-enabled learning suited to different disciplines, content matter, learners, and pedagogical approaches.
- Collaborate with the College of Engineering, College of Computing and Informatics, the ExCITe Center, as well as related schools and departments, to explore the design and application of new technologies in diverse teaching and learning settings, including online, in-person, and hybrid programs.
- Working with DUO and Drexel colleges experienced in online education, become the architects of professional development for Drexel faculty in online learning, and over time become a provider of such programs to outside institutions, organizations, and businesses.