Higher Ed's Role in Helping Working Adult Learners

Achieve Academic and Career Success

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Virtual Panel from ASU + GSV

Higher education leaders speak about support working adult learners

Between declines in traditional age students and national talent shortages, academic institutions and employers have a shared interest in educating the 88M working adults in need of upskilling or reskilling to compete in tomorrow’s economy. Innovative employers are investing in education benefits as a way of retaining and advancing great talent. But how can higher education institutions ensure they are providing working adult learners with the right skills and supports to succeed?

Sarah Normand

Senior Vice President and Executive Director, Competency Based Education Program, Southern New Hampshire University

After seeing firsthand the transformational power of higher education for working learners across her career in both business and public sectors, Sarah joined SNHU in 2013. She served as one of the highest-performing Strategic Partnership Managers in SNHU’s College for America program, expanding access to radically affordable college education to thousands of partner employees nationwide, and rose through successive leadership roles to be named Senior Vice President, Workforce Partnerships, in August 2019. Today she leads a team responsible for redesigning assessment, experience and support models pertaining to Competency Based Education. Sarah earned her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from SNHU and her Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from the University of New Hampshire.

Sarah believes there’s never been a better time to innovative learning pathways and partner-specific solutions to improve the lives of learners, their employers, and their communities.

Lisa L. Templeton

Associate Provost for Ecampus, Oregon State University

As Associate Provost for Ecampus, Lisa L. Templeton leads a team dedicated to making Oregon State's online programs among the very best in the country. The division of Ecampus encompasses Oregon State's top-ranked degree programs delivered online in partnership with OSU’s academic colleges, an online education research unit, and the university’s open education resources unit.

Ecampus currently offers over 1,600 online courses and more than 80 online degrees and certificates. In partnering with nearly 1,100 Oregon State faculty members and offering award-winning instructional design and multimedia support, Ecampus provides online students with access to vital resources like academic success coaching, OSU Libraries, and free online proctoring and tutoring. Ecampus also provides marketing and enrollment services for colleges, researches new online technologies and pedagogies, and advances the development of open educational resources.

Lisa is active nationally in the field of online and continuing education and has served in numerous leadership roles. She currently serves as President-Elect for the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA). Lisa received her bachelor's degree from the Ohio State University, an Ed.M. in Adult Education from Oregon State University, and a certificate from the Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Education from the Online Learning Consortium and Penn State University.

Nora Lewis

Vice Dean for Professional and Liberal Education, University of Pennsylvania

Nora Lewis, appointed Vice Dean for Professional and Liberal Education in 2010, has been a member of the full-time professional staff in the School of Arts & Sciences since 1993. Prior to becoming Vice Dean, she was Executive Director of the College of Liberal & Professional Studies (LPS). She has also served as Executive Director of LPS and interim director of Penn's English Language Programs.

Ms. Lewis has 30 years of experience in continuing education and international higher education. Her responsibilities have included teaching English as a second language, program development and coordination, marketing, recruitment, student services and advising, and general administration. Her publications include journal articles and book chapters on the role of input and interaction in second language acquisition (with Teresa Pica and Lloyd Holliday); on intergenerational approaches to adult literacy and ESL programming (with Gail Weinstein-Shr); and on language planning and policy in the former Soviet republics. Her research interests focus on the role of learner production and feedback in second language acquisition. She has been active in UPCEA, TESOL, NAFSA, and AACRAO.

Ms. Lewis holds a B.A. in English from the College of William and Mary and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Geoff Watson

Geoff Watson, Senior Vice President, Learning Marketplace, Guild Education

Geoff Watson is a mission-driven leader who has a passion for building technology businesses at the convergence of education and the future of work. Geoff is a Senior Vice President at Guild Education, where he leads the Go-to-Market team in the Learning Marketplace. Previously, Geoff led Venture incubation at Entangled (acquired by Guild), an education venture studio which created 6 new edtech companies. Previously, Geoff was President of Practice, which was acquired by Instructure. Geoff was also a partner at Monitor 360, where he launched a new analytics platform to blue-chip clients, including Gates Foundation, Starbucks, Microsoft, Warner Bros, and Pfizer. Earlier in his career, Geoff was President of Intrax, a $75m revenue international education company that created life-changing experiences for over 50,000 students annually from 80+ countries. Geoff has an MBA from Wharton and B.A. from Dartmouth College.

Anna Jiang Edwards

Business Development Executive

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Lisa McIntyre-Hite, PhD

Business Development Executive

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