PRnewswire | July 27, 2023
StraighterLine, a creator of affordable, flexible and career-aligned postsecondary courses and credentials that serves over 150,000 learners per year, announced today the appointment of Allison Lesser as vice president of digital marketing. With a track record of successfully leading branding and digital and omni-channel marketing for education, consumer and media brands for more than 20 years, Lesser joins the company after spending more than a decade in branding, digital marketing and user experience leadership roles at education technology companies.
"Allison's extensive experience in education technology and her passion for making education and training more accessible align perfectly with StraighterLine's vision," said Heather Combs, CEO of StraighterLine. "We are thrilled to have her join our team and lead our digital marketing efforts. Her expertise and leadership will drive our mission forward and help us reach even more learners around the world."
In her new role, Lesser will oversee digital marketing strategies and initiatives to support the company's growing platform of courses and new product innovations. She will be responsible for shaping the technical vision and strategy for the StraighterLine platform, driving product innovation and enhancing the overall learning experience for students.
Lesser most recently worked for The Teaching Company, known for its content brands The Great Courses and Wondrium. There, led the acquisition marketing team for Wondrium's video streaming product of nonfiction content and successfully hired, trained and mentored a team of marketers. During the pandemic, her team increased spend by more than 70% in a short time frame while keeping the cost per acquisition within business goals. Her dedication and commitment to delivering strong results in a fast-paced and evolving environment exemplify her leadership skills.
Earlier in her career, Lesser held various leadership roles in the education and digital marketing sectors. She began her journey in education technology in 2011 as the director of product marketing for online education developer K12, where she worked closely with market research and developed positioning for educational products. She also served as the director of digital marketing for Envision, the pioneering developer of career exploration and leadership development experiences for K-12 students. She began her career working in the global headquarters of AOL, where she spent ten years focused on consumer experience and driving product, marketing and content teams to make decisions based on consumer data.
Aside from her professional achievements, Lesser is actively involved in volunteer work and regularly participates in races that support various causes and sponsors two children from Tanzania through Compassion International, providing them with letters of encouragement. She also volunteers at Potowmack Elementary in Sterling, Virginia, where she works closely with the school liaison and social worker to identify ways to help families in need. A resident of Northern Virginia, Lesser has been happily married to her husband, Chris Lesser, for 20 years and is a proud mother of two teenage children.
StraighterLine is the leading provider of high-quality, affordable, online courses that help learners earn college credit and meet their professional goals. Each year, 150,000 learners take one of StraighterLine's 250+ courses to upskill into new careers or earn credit from over 2,000 colleges and universities worldwide. StraighterLine works with institutions and corporate partners to provide their students and employees with flexible education options that allow them to work and learn at their own pace.
PRnewswire | July 31, 2023
edX, a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc. today announced the launch of a new Study Abroad hub to help edX learners in India advance their education overseas. This new hub, developed in collaboration with Shorelight, a leader in the international education space, will connect millions of edX learners to Shorelight's catalog of over 3,000 in-person graduate and undergraduate programs at top U.S. institutions, including American University, Auburn University, University of Illinois Chicago, University of Dayton, and more.
The new Study Abroad hub will connect edX learners from India directly with Shorelight to help evaluate and select an international study abroad program that best fits their academic and career needs. Shorelight will then help learners navigate the often complex study abroad application process and continue to serve as a support system once the learner is attending classes in the U.S.
"Shorelight is steadfast in our mission to help international students access top U.S. universities, equipping them with the knowledge and support they need to excel in their academic pursuits and launch successful careers. Our partnership with edX enables us to share this mission with an even broader audience globally," said Tom Dretler, CEO of Shorelight Education. "We're excited to introduce edX learners to the diverse programs offered through Shorelight, bridging geographical boundaries and expanding the horizons of countless students."
Shorelight and edX's collaboration comes as more students around the world look to study outside their home country. In 2022, the number of international students attending college in the U.S. grew 4% to nearly 1 million, with the majority coming from India and China. India is edX's second-largest market in terms of registered learners, behind the U.S., and a focus for the company's continued global expansion.
"The Study Abroad hub on edX further enhances our ability to support international learners seeking to study in-person overseas – expanding our global footprint and meeting the needs of a significant and growing segment of the education market," said 2U Co-Founder and CEO Christopher "Chip" Paucek. "Together with Shorelight, we are committed to providing learners in India with greater access to relevant, affordable, and high-quality programs from the world's best colleges and universities."
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.
Shorelight is a leading international student marketplace in the United States. Our platform connects international students, universities, and service providers to drive student enrollment and performance at scale. We do this so that a more globally diverse population can lead and prosper for generations to come. Together, we help Educate the World.
PRnewswire | July 04, 2023
Newsela, the leading K-12 instructional content platform, announced today that it has acquired Formative, the leading real-time instruction and assessment platform. This acquisition brings together two beloved classroom products to provide a comprehensive instructional solution that engages students and accelerates learning.
"Newsela has led the transition away from static classroom instructional materials to become the digital platform of choice for teachers seeking to accelerate student growth with accessible, real-world content and scaffolding activities that support all learners," said Pep Carrera, Chief Executive Officer at Newsela.
"Combining Newsela's best-in-class, accessible content with Formative's data-rich assessment activities will give students and teachers the complete, meaningful learning experience they want, while providing the deep insights that teachers and administrators need to effectively impact student outcomes."
Craig Jones and Kevin McFarland founded Formative as graduate students at UCLA in 2013. Today, Formative is used by educators and administrators globally and has a presence in the majority of U.S. school districts. In the past year alone, more than four million students have engaged with the platform.
"All teachers know the importance of being responsive to their students, but that individual attention requires a lot of time and resources. As a teacher, I saw greater improvements when I had the time to provide daily formative assessments, targeted intervention, and quicker feedback loops. Formative was created to apply this approach at scale, so teachers can do it better, faster, and take swift action with real-time data," said Craig Jones, Co-Founder and CEO of Formative. "Our goal was to give teachers the most effective tool for assessment and analysis. Now, the most effective assessment tool can be used with the best content."
As school districts look for the best pathways to improve student outcomes following the disruption of the pandemic, the role of formative assessments in concert with authentic, engaging content, could not be more critical in the effort to accelerate learning. Teachers will soon be able to apply Formative's powerful technology to Newsela's 15,000+ content library to gauge learning immediately, provide even more powerful scaffolds and support, while course-correcting in real time to meet academic goals throughout the year.
"We've learned that schools can have the best assessments and the best content, but that won't matter if teachers don't have the resources to make actionable changes based on data. Formative's success to date has been giving teachers real-time data that helps make informed decisions," said Kevin McFarland, Co-Founder and COO of Formative. "Now with Newsela, teachers will have all the resources—the best content and the best assessments—to help students achieve their goals."'
Built by teachers for teachers, Formative's mission is to accelerate learning and close the opportunity gap for all students. Formative empowers educators to super-charge their existing lessons and teaching tools into data-rich, formative-learning experiences across every grade level and subject matter. Formative's world-class Customer Success team ensures that administrators and teachers get the most from the platform, providing expert support for any level of technology in the classroom.
Newsela is an education technology company dedicated to meaningful classroom learning for every student. With over 15,000 authentic texts published at five reading levels, teacher scaffolding tools and activities, and flexible formative assessments, Newsela's products provide K-12 teachers with the instructional content they need to support and grow every learner.Newsela's platform is backed by learning science and purpose-built to drive outcomes and unlock student motivation. Today, over 3.3 million teachers and 40 million students have registered with Newsela for relevant, real-world content that accelerates learning and engages every learner.