On July 14, 2022, University of Phoenix’s Dr. Charity Jennings, Ed.D., MIS, MAEd, featured in the Future of Education (FoE) panel, which took place during Harbinger’s EdTech PowerHour. The panel, entitled “Future of Education: Connecting the Dots Between Education and Employment,” saw Jennings and other participants define the pillars of the FoE ecosystem and deliberate over the frameworks that pave the way from education to employment.
During the panel, which took place in a virtual discussion format, Jennings and the other speakers explained the higher education industry’s need for curriculum redesign, increased use of technology, a transition to hybrid instruction and data-informed decision making. They also discussed employers’ perspectives on the FoE ecosystem.
The Future of Education (FoE)
The Future of Education aims to create an ecosystem of frameworks that lays out a clear route to employment. Market needs, such as growing unemployment rates, talent shortages across various industries, individuals’ development of skills for future workplaces and employers’ openness to hire individuals based on their practical skills (rather than the degrees they have secured), inform the need for this path from education to employment.
To connect the dots between education and employment, the FoE suggests that its ecosystem of frameworks should grow around four pillars.
- Curriculum redesign. Market needs and the future-proofed skills that employees will need as workplaces evolve should inform modern curriculums. These curriculums should also be flexible to facilitate hyper-personalized learning.
- Hybrid instruction delivery model. Redesigning classroom spaces can enable hybrid instruction, as can implementing carefully chosen technologies.
- Emphasis on skills over degrees. Educational organizations can launch digital micro-credentialing systems to help job seekers and employers enjoy a skills-based economy and benefit from a culture of ongoing learning.
- Mapping job seekers with open opportunities. When employers and educational organizations embrace a collaborative exchange of information and data-driven decision-making, they can open more opportunities to job seekers.
About Dr. Charity Jennings
Dr. Charity Jennings is a faculty member of University of Phoenix’s College of Education and College of Business and Information Technology. She has more than 20 years of experience in talent development, educational leadership and curriculum design and instruction.
Jennings believes that those at the forefront of higher education should shift the traditional focus of degrees to prioritize real-world skill development. She emphasizes that, this way, educational organizations can shape career-long learning and lay the groundwork to overcome the talent shortages in various industries. Such an approach could help students acquire career-relevant skills and help businesses recruit appropriately skilled workers.
At University of Phoenix, Jennings implements educational technologies to support adult learning. She works with all of the University’s colleges, schools and administrative departments to align educational software with business processes. She has been a faculty member of the University since 2003.
This year, Jennings won a Phoenix500 award, which recognizes her as one of University of Phoenix’s top 500 faculty members. The award celebrates the contributions she has made to her role. Jennings also won a Faculty of the Year Award, which the University’s students, employees and faculty nominate individuals for. This year, University of Phoenix received over 2,200 nominations and celebrated the faculty members who demonstrated the highest level of dedication to students. Jennings won her award for her work in the University’s College of Education.
University of Phoenix’s College of Education
University of Phoenix offers 117 general education courses that include classes in mathematics, science, humanities, arts, communication, and social and behavioral sciences. Students can engage in 5-6 week courses and apply these toward one of the University’s degree programs. This system allows students to develop key skill areas and build foundational knowledge.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix dedicates itself not only to progressing the educational goals of its adult and nontraditional learners but also to helping these students navigate the career options and degree programs that best suit their interests. The University offers degree programs that align with plentiful high-demand career paths including paths in sectors like cybersecurity, nursing, healthcare and business. The University also offers flexible start dates, online classes and numerous scholarship opportunities to make it possible for all students to earn the degree they desire. Furthermore, University of Phoenix’s Career Services for Life® commitment supports active students and graduates by providing the resources needed to be prepared when entering the workforce for no additional charge. These services span from resume and interview support to career guidance as well as education and networking opportunities. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.