Here’s the latest sweep from the world of education-to-employment, where all the job seekers are above average …
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I loved this personal story from Kepler’s long lost twin Match Beyond — about the relationship between student James Normil and coach Bob Hill and how it helped fuel James’ persistence through the College for America program. Check out the amazing (and far too common) snapshot at the bottom illustrating James’ crazy path through higher education, culminating in an Associate’s degree 12 years and 4 colleges after first enrolling in college straight out of high school. The relationship at the center of the story reminds me of the anecdote I shared at the end of vol. 8 — about how a professor who “bonded her life to mine” helped keep one amazing student from dropping out of college.
Interesting “Boots to Books” podcast on the military-to-college/civilian employment challenge from American Radio Works (which consistently puts out great stuff like this other podcast on teacher training / Japanese-style “lesson study”). It’s nothing short of criminal how we leave returning vets high and dry when it comes to transitioning back into employment / study — and is currently screwing millions of people that way as the huge waves of vets from Iraq/Afghanistan come home. This podcast is also a fascinating history of the GI Bill which was the game-changer for higher ed in the 20th century (like land-grant colleges in the 19th).
- Brookings with some fascinating and scary data on how college is (financially) worth less if you were raised poor — looking forward to seeing their follow-up findings on what drives this, though there are a bunch of obvious potential reasons
- From the NYT, AT&T rolling out one of the most far-reaching efforts I’ve heard of to retool the skill set of its employee base. Really curious to see whether a big company can pull this off
- Fascinating example of an employer swimming upstream to integrate its talent supply chain — Kaiser Permanente launching a medical school to train doctors to practice its way
- University Ventures on low-risk pathways to high-value careers (scroll down to bottom of the link)
Also, check out this cool offer from community member Srikant Vasan whose venture Skillstore seeks to transform soft skills training using live video practice and peer feedback. “We’re now kicking off our next phase of growth by inviting our friends and acquaintances and their organizations to try SkillStore. We’re letting them get some of our popular modules for free, forever – so long as they sign up by March 31. There’s no long-term commitment – we just want people to check us out.”
All the News That’s Fit to Print
- Vocational ed and alternative pathways/credentials
- BBC – Vocational Education’s Global Gap – While the vocational program gap exists globally, it is acutely felt in the US, where there are only 400k apprentices, half as many as in the UK. Part of this is social stigma around vocational ed. (Related: for those of you who subscribe to Chronicle of Higher Ed – Should the US Become a Nation of Apprentices?)
- Helpful overview paper via EdCentral on the need for training/work-based pathways to bachelor’s degrees — good read if you haven’t read much on CTE / vocational / etc.
- Hechinger with data on how, as a prospective vocational/CTE student, you really need to pick your spots for it to pay off (and sadly you’re unlikely to be armed with the right info given the piss-poor state of advising/support)
And here it is, your moment of Zen — have been meaning to share this: late last year at a debate, Marco Rubio made the case for more vocational programs: “Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers.” What we really need is fewer candidates in the Republican race. But for what it’s worth, philosophers make more than welders (and both have a better business model than newsletter writers).