Redefining what it means to be ‘college-ready’

ecampusnews | October 21, 2019

Societal pressures on high school seniors seemingly grow by the year. These days, a student’s level of college and workforce readiness is said to be dependent on their college admission test scores, completing the most rigorous high school classes possible, and obtaining AP credit. But research shows that these are not the sole indicators. ACT recently released a report that claims only 26 percent of 2018 high school graduates were ready for the workforce, but I believe readiness is dictated by so much more than a standardized test score. Related content: Program targets college readiness gap. For example, research from the University of California Berkeley found that high school GPA is the best indicator of grades during freshman year in college as well as college graduation. Of course, I don’t presume that everyone should go to college. When educators say they want students to be “college-ready,” it’s easy to assume we mean a four-year degree. What we really mean is “post-secondary ready.” If an individual wants to earn a family-supporting wage over the course of their work lifetime, they need access to some form of post-secondary education. For example, if their goal is to become a police officer or a firefighter, they’ll have to learn how to move through the ranks. Though college might not be the path for them, they will need to demonstrate proficiency and take coursework. I did a presentation on this topic in southern Illinois and somebody asked, “What if I want to be a family farmer?” Before I could respond, three people piped up, saying that farmers need to understand things like crop rotation, agribusiness, and irrigation. Every profession requires a level of expertise in some niche area. Having access to post-secondary coursework is a way everyone can stay relevant and nimble as an individual who wants to support themselves and possibly a family.

Spotlight

In describing its commitment to Deeper Learning, The Hewlett Foundation “envisions a new generation of U.S. schools and community colleges designed to give all students—especially those from underserved communities— the knowledge and abilities necessary to succeed in this new environment. These schools would harness the deeper learning skills of critical thinking, problem solving, effective communication, collaboration, and learning how to learn to help students develop a strong foundation in traditional academic subject.” 

Spotlight

In describing its commitment to Deeper Learning, The Hewlett Foundation “envisions a new generation of U.S. schools and community colleges designed to give all students—especially those from underserved communities— the knowledge and abilities necessary to succeed in this new environment. These schools would harness the deeper learning skills of critical thinking, problem solving, effective communication, collaboration, and learning how to learn to help students develop a strong foundation in traditional academic subject.” 

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CORPORATE EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Skillsoft to Acquire Codecademy, a Leading Platform for Learning High-Demand Technical Skills

Skillsoft | December 23, 2021

Skillsoft, a global leader in corporate digital learning, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Codecademy, a leading online learning platform for technical skills, for approximately $525 million in cash and stock. Codecademy is an innovative and popular learning platform providing high-demand technical skills to approximately 40 million registered learners in nearly every country worldwide. The platform offers interactive, self-paced courses and hands-on learning in 14 programming languages across multiple domains such as application development, data science, cloud and cybersecurity. In addition, the Codecademy platform can rapidly expand to deliver new skills at scale, making it highly adaptable to the evolving technical needs of learners and their employers. Codecademy, which was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in New York, is led by a proven entrepreneurial team that has built one of the most admired technical skills learning platforms in the industry. “Codecademy will significantly expand Skillsoft’s capabilities in the high-growth Tech & Dev segment. Strategic acquisitions are an important part of our growth strategy. We acquired virtual instructor-led training capabilities with Global Knowledge and coaching with Pluma earlier this year. With the addition of Codecademy’s innovative capabilities, we will create an even more immersive online learning experience. When we combine Skillsoft’s enterprise customer base of more than 12,000 corporate customers and over 46 million learners with Codecademy’s 40 million learners, sophisticated digital marketing capability and influential brand, we expect to unlock significant revenue synergies.” Jeffrey R. Tarr, Chief Executive Officer of Skillsoft Following the close of the transaction, the Codecademy team will join Skillsoft to help further build out the leading technical skills training solution for learners globally. “Since our founding, Codecademy has been focused on empowering our learners to build inspiring careers in technology,” said Zach Sims, founder and CEO of Codecademy. “We have helped tens of millions of people around the world learn new technology skills. Together with Skillsoft, we will have the opportunity to rapidly increase the size of our content library and scale Codecademy across the millions of learners and thousands of companies – including approximately 75% of the Fortune 1000 – that work with Skillsoft worldwide. With additional resources and opportunities to drive growth, we are excited to embark on this important next chapter.” Strategic Rationale and Benefits Creates a Leading Technology & Developer Offering. Adding Codecademy’s expertise in 14 programming languages across multiple domains to Skillsoft’s existing technical skills offering will create a leader in the high-demand, high-growth Tech & Dev segment. In addition, the capability of the Codecademy platform to rapidly add new programming languages and technical skills at scale will further enhance Skillsoft’s ability to meet the evolving demands of learners worldwide as it helps organizations address the critical technical skills gap. Expands Immersive Platform with New Ways of Learning. Skillsoft has already assembled an expansive set of learning options, including virtual instructor-led training, coaching, micro videos, audio, books, bootcamps, live events, assessments and badges. Together with Codecademy’s interactive, self-paced courses and hands-on learning, Skillsoft will be able to deliver even more immersive experiences through its AI-driven platform, Percipio. Creates Substantial Cross-Selling and Upselling Opportunities by Adding a Strong Brand and Powerful Digital Sales and Marketing Engine to Global Enterprise Sales Force. The acquisition will bring together Codecademy’s sophisticated direct-to-learner digital sales and marketing engine and Skillsoft’s enterprise sales organization, creating new opportunities to upsell and cross-sell across each company’s customer base, which is expected to drive customer growth and revenue synergies. Expected to Be Significantly Accretive to Bookings and Revenue Growth Immediately Upon Closing. Codecademy is expected to deliver approximately $47 million in bookings and approximately $42 million in revenue for the calendar year ended December 31, 2021, up 23% and 31%, respectively, over the prior year. Codecademy is entirely a SaaS business and is expected to deliver gross margins of more than 85% in 2021 and be accretive to Skillsoft’s gross margin immediately upon closing. Codecademy is investing to fuel growth and, accordingly, is expected to generate negative EBITDA of approximately $20 million in 2021. Skillsoft expects it will accelerate Codecademy’s growth in its first year of ownership and that the acquisition will be accretive to EBITDA over the long term. About Codecademy Codecademy is a leading online learning platform for technical skills, empowering approximately 40 million people worldwide to lead inspiring careers in technology. Codecademy’s innovative, scalable approach to online coding education makes it possible for anyone to master the skills needed to succeed in our tech-enabled workforce. Since 2011, learners from more than 150 countries have accessed Codecademy’s extensive course offerings on web development, data science, cybersecurity, and more, as well as in-demand programming languages like Python, CSS, and JavaScript. In addition to helping individuals unlock the full power of technology, Codecademy for Business supports companies like General Motors and Kayak as they train and upskill their teams for the future. Codecademy is headquartered in New York City. About Skillsoft Skillsoft is a global leader in corporate digital learning, focused on transforming today’s workforce for tomorrow’s economy. The Company provides enterprise learning solutions designed to prepare organizations for the future of work, overcome critical skill gaps, drive demonstrable behavior-change, and unlock the potential in their people. Skillsoft offers a comprehensive suite of premium, original, and authorized partner content, including one of the broadest and deepest libraries of leadership & business skills, technology & developer, and compliance curricula. With access to a broad spectrum of learning options (including video, audio, books, bootcamps, live events, and practice labs), organizations can meaningfully increase learner engagement and retention. Skillsoft’s offerings are delivered through Percipio, its award-winning, AI-driven, immersive learning platform purpose built to make learning easier, more accessible, and more effective.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Newest Apprenticeship Program Launched by New Horizons Learning Group

New Horizons | April 29, 2022

On April 28th, leading technical education provider announced the launch of its new apprenticeship program in California. The program will be delivered in collaboration with the American Institutes for and CompTIA and Research (AIR). It is designed for aspiring professionals in Information Technology. New Horizons will become the latest provider to become a CompTIA’s Apprenticeships for Tech program. It is an initiative to help employers fill their IT staffing needs now and in the future. The program is unique as it uses an “earn and learn” model with apprenticeship programs that also help create employment opportunities for people from a variety of backgrounds. "We believe that the timing is perfect to introduce our Information Technology Apprenticeships to businesses in our communities. Our partnership with AIR and CompTIA will support businesses inCaliforniawith their hiring needs by supplying them with the skilled and qualified talent they are struggling to find in today's employee-driven workforce." -Cindy Sutherland, president, New Horizons Learning Group "Apprenticeships have long been a proven method for building skills and expanding employment opportunities, and they're gaining traction in the IT workforce as employers seek out new ways to develop tech talent. New Horizons has a well-deserved reputation for preparing people for careers in technology. We are pleased to welcome them to our apprenticeship program." -Amy Kardel, senior vice president for workforce relationships at CompTIA

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CONTINUING EDUCATION

Cadmium partners with ims technology services

Cadmium | January 27, 2022

Cadmium announced today that they have partnered with IMS Technology Services in an agreement that streamlines vendor selection for their clients in the live event industry. The partnership unites event management technology, event production, and content management to strengthen the digital product and service offerings of both organizations. Cadmium is an award-winning provider of event and learning technology, specializing in continuing educational, professional development, and content management solutions. IMS Technology Services is a certified woman-owned business and award-winning provider of leading systems integration and event staging solutions that promote collaboration, productivity, and learning. "IMS is extremely excited to partner with Cadmium as we continue to develop our digital experience offering for associations," said Paul Wedesky, COO of IMS Technology Services. "Clients have trusted IMS event staging solutions for decades, and as one company with integrated Hybrid, Virtual and Live strategies, we continually seek new opportunities to modernize the planning process for our clients." Clients of IMS Technology Services can utilize Cadmium's suite of event technology, including online registration, a mobile app, digital posters, learning management systems (LMS), and more. In turn, Cadmium will partner customers who will benefit from systems integration and event staging solutions with IMS Technology Services. This partnership simplifies process of vendor selection for event planners, thus facilitating the seamless execution of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events. "Cadmium continues to identify partnerships that help us create simpler experiences for our clients. Our recent partnership with IMS Technology Services underscores our commitment to streamlining the event planning process." Michelle Wyatt, President of Event and Video Technology at Cadmium Together, Cadmium and IMS Technology Services will ease the challenges of transitioning to a hybrid environment for event planners. About IMS Technology Services With offices in Garnet Valley, PA and Orlando, FL, IMS is a certified woman-owned business, and award-winning provider of high-quality solutions that are designed to foster collaboration, productivity, learning, and business communication with a team of certified technology professionals. A partner for organizations such as Allergan, National Education Association, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Drexel University, and Temple University, IMS specializes in event staging and production, virtual and hybrid events, audio visual system design, managed services, video production, content creation, and projection mapping. About Cadmium Cadmium simplifies the production of live, hybrid and virtual events and maximizes the value of online learning with a single, flexible platform designed to capture the chemistry of people, ideas and knowledge. The company's software products are trusted by more than 1000 content-driven organizations worldwide to generate revenue, drive customer retention, and lower operational costs for their events and education initiatives.

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