PR Newswire | September 28, 2023
Today, Vernier Science Education, a leading provider of innovative science and STEM education solutions, announced a significant organizational shift that will chart the course for its mission and values for the foreseeable future. The company will evolve from partner-owned to being owned by a Perpetual Purpose Trust. This allows Vernier Science Education to ensure values-aligned ownership succession and uphold its core mission and values indefinitely, ensuring that its social and charitable objectives remain a priority in perpetuity, securing the futures of its valued employees, and reinvesting profits back into the business while sharing benefits with employees, customers, and communities alike.
The Perpetual Purpose Trust is a bold and innovative approach that aligns perfectly with Vernier's vision of serving educators, students, the STEM community, and communities at large. The decision to reevaluate and reimagine Vernier's ownership model and long-term commitment to its mission comes as John Wheeler, the CEO of Vernier Science Education, prepares to step back from day-to-day activities, ushering in a new era of innovation and purpose-driven sustainability for the company.
"Our decision to reevaluate our business and establish a Perpetual Purpose Trust stems from our unwavering commitment to STEM education and sustaining the values and principles that have defined Vernier for decades. This transformational shift will enable us to secure the future of our employees, reinvest in our business, and continue our mission of creating a STEM-literate society," said Wheeler. "I am honored to continue to guide our work during this transition, and I look forward to the remarkable achievements that lie ahead for Vernier Science Education."
Wheeler will remain in his position as CEO until a nationwide search identifies a replacement. He will continue to be active in Vernier Science Education providing guidance and leadership to the organization and supporting the new CEO.
The transition from partner-owned to Trust-owned will be funded by both gifting and purchase of shares from current Partners. Dave and Christine Vernier, the company's co-founders and key figures in its success, will remain actively engaged in the Vernier Science Education family, offering their invaluable insights and support as the company embarks on this exciting new chapter.
"Vernier Science Education has always been driven by a deep commitment to advancing STEM education. As we transition to a Perpetual Purpose Trust, we're reaffirming our dedication to our mission and values, and commitment to staying a local independent Oregon-based company for generations to come," said Dave Vernier. "Christine and I are excited to continue contributing to the Vernier family and witnessing the positive impact this strategic move will have on educators, students, and the STEM community. This is how we pay back the years of success our organization has had and give back to our community."
By establishing a Perpetual Purpose Trust, Vernier Science Education joins other socially-conscious organizations, foundations, and companies committed to long-term sustainability, fostering a sense of purpose that extends far into the future.
About Vernier Science Education
Vernier Science Education is a leading provider of innovative solutions for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. For over four decades, Vernier has been dedicated to supporting educators and inspiring students to explore and understand the world of science. With a commitment to quality, Vernier's comprehensive range of data collection and analysis tools, along with its educational resources, empowers educators to facilitate engaging and hands-on learning experiences. To learn more, visit vernier.com.
Businesswire | August 08, 2023
PowerSchool the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education in North America, today announced it is joining the K-12 Education Technology Secure by Design Pledge, a voluntary pledge for K-12 education technology software manufacturers, developed by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the U.S. Department of Education. PowerSchool also announced new commitments to further secure the education technology ecosystem by offering free and subsidized security-as-a-service resources to all U.S. schools and districts.
“Our primary mission is to personalize education for every student and that journey starts with our responsibility to protect and safeguard the over 45 million students we serve today in the U.S.,” said Hardeep Gulati, CEO of PowerSchool. “That is why we have made significant investments in cybersecurity and successfully defend our districts against over 1 billion cyber-attacks each year. We are honored to sign this pledge and even provide additional free and subsidized security-as-a-service trainings, tools, and resources to support and enable all U.S. school districts to fight against cybersecurity threats.”
As part of First Lady Jill Biden’s Back to School Safely: Cybersecurity Summit for K-12 Schools event on August 7th, 2023, PowerSchool CEO Hardeep Gulati will highlight PowerSchool’s cybersecurity leadership and initiatives including cloud infrastructure security, cyber defense, and governance risk and compliance, that secure over 80% of the school districts across all U.S. states, including 90 of the top 100 districts by student population.
“Let’s face it: in today’s digital age, our students and their teachers will increasingly use technology in the classroom. Schools have access to more devices and connectivity than ever before, and this technology in education has incredible potential to help students better connect with their learning and achieve, and teachers better engage with their students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “But to make the most of these benefits, we must effectively manage the risks.
Just as we expect everyone in a school system to plan and prepare for physical risks, we must now also ensure everyone helps plan and prepare for digital risks in our schools and classrooms. The Department of Education has listened to the field about the importance of K-12 cybersecurity, and today we are coming together to recognize this and indicate our next steps.”
PowerSchool already adheres to several commitments outlined in the pledge, including offering single sign-on for free to customers, providing audit logs to any customer upon request, maintaining a published vulnerability disclosure policy administered by an independent third party, and embracing vulnerability transparency by openly engaging with customers on vulnerabilities, threats, and risks the company identifies.
PowerSchool is also taking additional steps to provide industry-leading cybersecurity support to educational institutions. This includes offering free and subsidized security-as-a-service resources, including on-demand webinars, toolkits, and trainings to U.S. schools and districts, as well as offerings from partners including Abnormal Security, Amazon Web Services, and KnowBe4. These resources will be available to any U.S. school or district, regardless of their customer status.
“Keeping our students and our schools safe from cyberattacks comes down to equipping schools with three things – knowledge, resources, and people,” said Anne Neuberger, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technologies. “This week, the White House worked to do just that – mobilizing funding, cybersecurity fact guides tailored for schools, and cybersecurity teams to visit schools and help them fight ransomware. We appreciate the innovative and meaningful private sector commitments in this ransomware fight, as we work together to keep kids cyber-safe online and in schools.”
PowerSchool’s significant investment in advanced security technologies, including static and dynamic code scanning, best-of-breed Web Application Firewalls, and more than 30 annual penetration tests, reinforces its unwavering commitment to providing unparalleled protection and trust to districts and schools. As a signatory of the Student Privacy Pledge 2020, PowerSchool adheres to all applicable state, province, and federal regulations and goes beyond those by independently verifying its security management system annually to third-party audited, internationally recognized standards for security management systems, achieving the ISO:27001 certification and SOC2 Type 2 – the gold standard data security certification for business service providers. PowerSchool is also partnered with the Consortium for School Networking (COSN) on their recently rolled-out K-12 Community Vendor Assessment Tool (K-12CVAT) and is an active partner of 1EdTech, focusing on industry standards, interoperability, and data privacy and security best practices. PowerSchool products have been vetted and certified as TrustEd Apps by 1Edtech, based on the organization's rigorous data and privacy rubric.
PowerSchool is the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education in North America. Its mission is to power the education ecosystem with unified technology that helps educators and students realize their full potential, in their way. PowerSchool connects students, teachers, administrators, and parents, with the shared goal of improving student outcomes. From the office to the classroom to the home, it helps schools and districts efficiently manage state reporting and related compliance, special education, finance, human resources, talent, registration, attendance, funding, learning, instruction, grading, assessments, and analytics in one unified platform. PowerSchool supports over 50 million students globally and more than 15,000 customers, including more than 90 of the top 100 districts by student enrollment in the United States, and sells solutions in more than 90 countries.
Corporate Learning Systems
PRnewswire | August 04, 2023
edX, a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), today announced the launch of a new Artificial Intelligence Boot Camp in partnership with leading universities nationwide. The intensive online program is designed for learners with little to no prior technical training who want to rapidly build the skills needed for an entry-level technical role requiring AI skills.
Classes will begin in fall 2023, with Michigan State University, University of Denver, The Ohio State University College of Engineering, and Southern Methodist University welcoming their first cohorts in September, and Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Utah, and University of North Carolina at Charlotte welcoming their first cohorts in November.
The part-time, 24-week boot camp program will educate early- to mid-career professionals in practical and technical skills across data science, machine learning, and AI. Informed by real-time industry needs, the program curriculum covers marketable technologies and foundational concepts including Python, unsupervised and supervised machine learning, transformers, natural language processing, AI applications, time series forecasting, and AI and data ethics. The Artificial Intelligence Boot Camp with edX is guided by seasoned industry practitioners with the support of on-demand tutors and is designed to ensure graduates emerge with the dynamic, in-demand skills to succeed in today's rapidly changing tech landscape.
"Every individual, irrespective of their profession or trade, stands to benefit from a fundamental understanding of AI–it is now a requisite literacy in our times," said Anant Agarwal, Founder of edX, Chief Platform Officer at 2U, and former director of CSAIL, MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. "The Artificial Intelligence Boot Camp with edX will help equip more people with the AI knowledge and skills necessary to augment their capabilities and ensure they're harnessing the myriad opportunities unfolding in this fascinating and rapidly shifting technology."
edX recently commissioned a survey of technical hiring managers and learners from across the U.S. It found that while hiring managers surveyed expect close to half (42%) of all job candidates hired in the next five years will need AI skills, they believe less than 20% currently have these skills. The survey also revealed strong demand for AI training, with 82% of learners surveyed saying they've researched AI-related higher education programs in the last six months. At the same time, there has been a surge in interest in AI-related programs on edX, as evidenced by an 80% increase in searches for 'artificial intelligence' on the platform in the first six months of 2023.
"We have leveraged the edX platform through our partnership with 2U in developing innovative and aﬀordable educational programs that serve the evolving needs of learners and employers," said Michael J. Robertson, Assistant Provost for Global, Online & Continuing Education at SMU. "By broadening our partnership to include the Artiﬁcial Intelligence Boot Camp, we're helping equip individuals in Dallas and beyond with the tools to navigate and shape this new era of AI innovation while creating meaningful and rewarding careers pathways."
edX and its partners continue to invest in high-quality, cutting-edge AI content. In addition to the Artificial Intelligence Boot Camp program, learners can access a dozen Machine Learning and AI MicroBootCamps™ and five ChatGPT open courses available on edX.org. The open courses, which are free to audit, include Prompt Engineering Advanced ChatGPT, and ChatGPT for education, business, healthcare, and tech/coding/data.
The Artificial Intelligence Boot Camp adds to edX's portfolio of boot camp programs in coding, data science, cybersecurity, UX/UI, and fintech. As one of the world's largest developers of technology talent, edX has supported more than 70,000 boot camp graduates globally with the skills, knowledge, and career resources to achieve their goals. According to a 2U-Gallup survey, boot camp graduates surveyed reported being nearly four times happier with their jobs after graduation from the boot camp, and over 86% reported achieving a positive outcome.
edX is the global online learning platform that fuels the world's ambition. edX was developed in 2012 by Harvard and MIT to make the world's best education available to everyone. Today, as a part of 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), edX connects over 76 million people with online learning to meet every professional moment. Together with top-ranked universities and organizations at the forefront of their fields, edX offers thousands of job-relevant programs across nearly every career discipline, from artificial intelligence and robotics to sustainability and public health. Find online courses, certificates, boot camps, and degrees that fuel your ambition at edX.org.