4 Items on Instructure’s To-Do List After the Sale of the Canvas LMS Provider

edsurge | April 01, 2020

Even without a pandemic, Instructure faced a transformative 2020. The learning management system provider—best known for its Canvas product popular among colleges—is officially under private equity ownership. One of the benefits of this change is a focus on long-term planning over displays of quarterly growth to impress shareholders, says Mitch Benson, the company’s chief product officer. For example, despite increased activity on the platform—concurrent users on the Canvas LMS were up 60 percent from typical use patterns and video submissions are up tenfold from typical use patterns pre-Covid-19—the costs of moving more data and training more educators will keep the company from a short-term windfall, Benson says.

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Jefferson Dollars for Scholars help dozens of students succeed in college. Being successful in college requires the ability to learn effectively in a variety of learning contexts and to demonstrate what you have learned.

Spotlight

Jefferson Dollars for Scholars help dozens of students succeed in college. Being successful in college requires the ability to learn effectively in a variety of learning contexts and to demonstrate what you have learned.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

Online Learning Platform Springboard Selects Teletherapy Leader

Springboard | November 11, 2022

Springboard, an industry-leading online learning platform preparing students for in-demand, high-growth careers, today, announced a partnership with Uwill, the leading teletherapy solution for colleges and students, to provide mental health support for online learners. As the need for mental health support increases nationwide, Uwill's solution utilizes need and preferences to immediately match students with a diverse team of licensed and available counselors. The services will be integrated into Springboard's existing platform, and will be available to learners in addition to existing human support such as one-to-one mentorship and career counseling. "At Springboard, our ambitious vision centers around transforming lives through education and career advancement - and we know that this type of growth and transformation needs a strong foundation of mental health, In partnering with Uwill, we can meet students where they are by providing support through the same platform they're using for their education." Gautam Tambay, Co-founder and CEO at Springboard. Springboard is launching this teletherapy option at a time of increasing mental health challenges reported by education providers nationwide, where, according to HigherEdToday, nontraditional learners scored significantly higher on a number of mental health ratings than their traditional learning counterparts, specifically on depression, anxiety, and overall life stress.Uwill is uniquely suited to support the needs of Springboard learners to ensure they do not face barriers to mental health support," said Michael London, Founder and CEO of Uwill. Utilizing its proprietary technology and counselor team, Uwill pioneered the first Higher Ed therapist matching platform and wellness environment. The solution offers an immediate connection to an available licensed counselor based on student preferences, all modalities of teletherapy, a 24/7/365 crisis connection, wellness programming, detailed reporting and support. Uwill partners with more than 100 institutions worldwide including Berklee Online, Union College, Whitman College, and East Carolina University to ensure their mental health and wellness environment meets student needs. About Uwill Uwill has become the leading mental health and wellness solution for colleges and students. The most cost-effective way to complement a college's mental health offering, Uwill partners with more than 100 institutions including Boston College, University of Michigan, American Public University System, and University of Maryland, College Park. Uwill was named as one of Boston's hottest companies by BostInno, and now, more than 1 million students have access to the Uwill platform. Investors and supporters are a who's who including hip-hop legend Daryl McDaniels of Run-D.M.C. For more information, visit uwill.com. About Springboard Founded by Parul Gupta and Gautam Tambay in 2013, Springboard is on a mission to transform one million lives through education by 2030. More than 20,000 students across 100+ countries have used Springboard to advance their careers through the platform's comprehensive, mentor-led online learning programs. Graduates have landed jobs with employers like Microsoft, Google, Meta, LinkedIn, Deloitte, Intel, IBM, Salesforce and more. Springboard has also trained corporate teams at Visa, Gusto, and The North Face. Springboard was recently named one of the 2022 GSV EdTech 150 — a list of the world's most transformative growth companies in digital learning. Springboard is a 2020 Inc. 5000 company based in San Francisco, recently named a Top Workplace for Women by Elpha, and is backed by leading venture capital firms including Telstra Ventures, Vulcan Capital, SJF Ventures, Reach Capital, Pearson Ventures, International Finance Corp., Costanoa Ventures, Learn Capital, and Blue Fog Capital.

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TALENT DEVELOPMENT

University of Denver Launches Leadership in Outdoor Recreation Industry Program

University of Denver | November 01, 2022

The University of Denver (DU) is partnering with The VF Foundation to create the Leadership in Outdoor Recreation Industry (LORI) program. This interdisciplinary program will feature coursework from three academic units at DU: Daniels College of Business, Sturm College of Law and Josef Korbel School of International Studies. A key goal of the program is to increase the diversity of the talent pipeline for the outdoor industry. This program is made possible through the generous support of The VF Foundation, which is granting more than $3 million over three years. The grant represents the single largest contribution made by The VF Foundation. "Denver is an important center for the outdoor industry, making DU the perfect home for such a program. Through the Foundation's targeted support of scholarships for underrepresented individuals, combined with DU's expansive offering of business and industry-relevant coursework, we hope to spark the next generation of diverse leadership in the outdoor industry,This distinctive learning experience will attract both emerging and established leaders and we couldn't be more excited to partner with DU on this important endeavor as we continue to expand our I&D work beyond the VF walls." Steve Rendle, Chairman, President & CEO of VF Corporation and Board Chairman of The VF Foundation. There is an increasing demand for tailored workforce development and professional education to meet the demands of a rapidly growing industry and mounting challenges facing wilderness areas in the U.S. We're creating specialized, easy-to-access programming that will prepare students for outdoor industry jobs that are available now, and future careers that will change the field," says DU Chancellor Jeremy Haefner. "We are grateful to The VF Foundation for this opportunity to partner in such a meaningful way. To ensure access for outdoor industry professionals, coursework will be taught online. Topics covered will include: financial models, marketing, sustainability, ESG, legal issues in land use and access, supply chain, public policy, data-driven decision-making and more. The program will launch in 2023 with two 16-credit graduate certificates. About the University of Denver: Founded in 1864, the University of Denver is a private university that empowers students who want to make a difference. Recognized as one of the top research universities in the country, DU has more than 300 academic programs serving about 12,000 graduate and undergraduate students. DU students benefit from an experience that channels passion to serve the public good.

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TALENT DEVELOPMENT

Orenda Education Merges With Think Together to Create Scalable School Improvement Nonprofit

Think Together | September 13, 2022

Think Together, one of California's largest nonprofits serving K-12 schools today announced it has completed the merger with Orenda Education, a top school improvement and professional development consultancy. Upon the close, the combined organization will serve more than 200,000 students across the state with more than $150 million in annual revenue. Moreover, the organization will be better positioned to rapidly scale their impact. "We're thrilled to bring our two organizations together in our combined efforts to improve student success and close the achievement gap,This merger is the natural evolution of Orenda's existing relationship with Think Together and solidifies our joint commitment to ensuring that the more than 2 million California students that are performing far below grade level have the support they need during the school day and beyond to succeed academically." Think Together Founder and CEO Randy Barth Over the past seven years, Think Together and Orenda have had an affiliate agreement in place while the full acquisition builds the long-term financial and operational capacities for Orenda to continue to scale. Orenda's work focuses on transformingeducation systems, either across a school district or by cohorts of schools, providing professional development to all levels of district staff, around a specific data-driven but people-centric school improvement model. Think Together partners with over 60 school districts and charter management organizations to provide more than 900 direct-to-student academic and enrichment programs at more than 450 school sites across California, serving more than 100,000 youth. Orenda Education works behind-the-scenes with school district leaders and educators to identify inequities in schools and then transform their systems to ensure all students have access to a premium education. "Think Together has always been an incredible partner, infusing the infrastructure needed to provide an efficient model for changing the odds for kids," said Orenda Education Founder and CEO Dr. Robin Avelar La Salle. "Our two models have always complemented each other but now, we can efficiently scale our vision for all students to receive the premium education they deserve." The acquisition comes as both organizations experience tremendous growth due in large part to new and renewed state investments in education to accelerate learning recovery efforts and provide educators with needed support amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "Now more than ever, teachers, school leaders and administrators need to think outside the box to address the issues impacting students including socio-economic biases, social emotional learning, and more," added Barth. "Providing these much-needed supports to educators means districts and schools can provide the skills they need to teach, lead and counsel during and following a period of great disruption during the pandemic. Recently the U.S. Department of Education reported a dramatic decline in scores from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) known as the nation's scorecard. Two decades of growth for American students in reading and math were wiped away by just two years of pandemic-disrupted learning, according to national test scores released last week. And, the declines were much larger for students at lower performance levels, widening already-huge learning disparities between the country's high- and low-achievers. Orenda's approach to school improvement has proven to accelerate student outcomes, such as mastery of grade-level standards (measured by math and English language SBAC scores), improved A-G class completion rates, and improved graduation rates. They also provide administrative coaching, teaching strategies, and leadership clinics. To expand these services, Orenda was recently awarded a $4 million Education Innovation and Research grant by the U.S. Department of Education to digitize and distribute their school improvement approach through an online platform that is effective and highly scalable to schools and districts in any geography, and to those who require less in-person support. Think Together adds Orenda to their growing list of services that support student education in and around the school day. Think Together's flagship afterschool programs support students in underserved communities with homework help, enrichment, social-emotional learning and physical well-being, all to enable students to strive for college or a fulfilling career. To provide high-quality programs, Think Together partners with philanthropic organizations like the Joseph Drown Foundation. "Breaking down the barriers to opportunity, equity and access in education by keeping students and their success as the centered focus is one of the most meaningful investments for our future generations" said Alyssa Santino, Program Director of the Joseph Drown Foundation. "Ensuring the educators, leaders and structures around students are supported and inspired and effectively trained with research-based, proven and engaging strategies is imperative for thriving students and communities. We are pleased to partner with Think Together and Orenda Education as they excel in this space and continue to transform the trajectory of students and the schools they attend." Barth sees the combination of direct services to students through expanded and early learning, coupled with equity-based professional development, as an effective combination to supporting student achievement alongside their school district and charter partners. Dr. Paul Gothold, Superintendent of County Office of Education in San Diego agrees. His former district, Lynwood Unified School District, realized astonishing improvements when partnering with both Think Together and Orenda, including increasing graduation rates from 56% to 90.8%, and A-G college eligible rates from 18% to 53%. Orenda provides the technical expertise for true district turn-around. The systems approach and professional development modules to build staff capacity ensures all leaders have the tools and resources to provide a premium education for all students, said Gothold. "With Think Together's financial and operational support, Orenda is well positioned to continue providing much-needed education innovation to schools throughout the state and beyond. About Think Together For over 25 years Think Together has partnered with schools and communities to pursue educational equity and excellence for all kids. As a nonprofit organization, Think Together innovates, implements, and scales academic solutions that change the odds for hundreds of thousands of California students. Think Together's program areas include early learning, afterschool, school support services and leadership development for teachers and school administrators.

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