Brent and I met up with Rovy from the Academic ADL Co-Lab during the Wednesday lunch break. As lunch conversations tend to do - we talked about blogging, the impact of technology, Nicholas Carr and other technologist topics.
After Brent left - Rovy and I talked more about his work with the Academic ADL Co-Lab.
The Academic ADL Co-Lab is part of the University of Wisconsin system. One of the projects they have their eye on is through the Technical College system. Their idea is to create "Career Path" education. "GED to PhD" as Rovy jokingly called it.
The idea behind Career Path education is that people may not NEED structured degrees. Instead, they need access to the tools that will help them learn the things they need as the progress through their career.
Think of it as an executive career coach for the rest of us.
It's essentially an extension of the Career Center. Instead of just advising on someone's career, they are also going to provide the tools and coaching that will allow someone to get the skills they need - 24/7 accessable.
This means online learning and occasional synchronous coaching.
Our universities are currently not structured to accomodate this idea. They get money, grants and status based on the number of degrees they give. But what if....
The Wisconsin Technical Colleges and the Academic ADL Co-Lab are working with the Department of Labor to flesh this program out further.
The university I work for is all about giving alumni tools for their post-university life. Life-long e-mail is their first step.
I'd be curious to see what pricing and support structure they come up with to implement this idea. This could be a very cool thing for my university to offer to the Alumni.