Strada collaborates with students, policymakers, educators, and employers across the U.S. to strengthen the link between education and opportunity.
We prioritize policies, practices, and programs that help ensure postsecondary education provides equitable pathways to opportunity.
We advance our mission through research, grantmaking, social impact investments, public policy solutions, Strada-supported nonprofit organizations, and strategic initiatives.
Strada Education Foundation
Andrew R. Hanson serves as senior director of research at Strada Education Network. He has a more than a decade of experience as a researcher focused on the intersection between postsecondary education and the labor market.
Hanson previously served as a senior research fellow at Strada Institute for the Future of Work and a senior research analyst at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. His previous research has focused on the outcomes of workforce credentials and pathways, worker and student experiences navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, talent-driven economic and workforce development, the future of the liberal arts, innovative training programs for working adults, and career pathways with promising futures. His research has been featured in major media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and PBS Newshour.
His most recent paper is Success Beyond Completion: How Can We Best Measure Student Outcomes? Hanson was the first in his family to attend and graduate from college. He has an academic background in economics, education, and philosophy, and is an alumnus of Teach For America, Madison Area Technical College, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Missouri, and Georgetown University.
Amid all of this disruption, the number of U.S. workers leaving or changing their jobs sharply increased. Known variously as the Great Resignation, Reshuffle, or Realignment, the trend has been cast in the cultural imagination as a collective desire on the part of the American workforce for more rewarding or meaningful work.
Over the past 80 years, our nation has made great strides in improving access to college, and then ensuring that many more students could complete a college degree.
Nondegree credentials have been growing rapidly for decades. During the COVID-19 economic crisis, interest in nondegree credentials and skills training options was especially high. Questions about their quality and value, however, remain.
The pandemic has led to a national crisis of widespread disruption to both work and education for millions of adults in the U.S., especially those from historically marginalized groups.
While many employers are laying people off during the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon is expanding. The online retailer is hiring more people and helping employees upskill so they can advance either within or outside the company. Amazon’s Ardine Williams talks about how employer-based education programs fit into America’s postsecondary landscape.
After edtech firm Guild acquired his startup incubator Entangled, Paul Freedman and Guild CEO Rachel Carlson set out to help workers use employer benefits to upskill and, with luck, shield themselves from the next recession. Neither could have predicted the economic downturn would come amidst a global pandemic that has robbed tens of millions of Americans of their jobs in a few short months. We talk to Freedman about the role technology can play in helping those workers get the education and training they need to recover.
Western Governors University began as a bold experiment to create a completely online university—a place where learning is self-paced and the institution’s value is measured not by the profiles of its incoming freshmen, but the career success of its graduates. As the COVID-19 pandemic forces colleges and universities across the country into a virtual learning environment, we talk to Scott Pulsipher, president of the nation’s largest online competency-based university.
Long before COVID-19, America’s most vulnerable students were struggling to access not only education and skills training, but the social connections that open doors to great careers. Aimée Eubanks Davis, founder and CEO of Braven, says the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on low-income and minority communities has also laid bare inequities in the education-to-workforce ecosystem. It’s time, she says, to level the playing field so all college graduates can secure strong first jobs that lead to long-term career success.
Rhode Island has improved the lives and livelihoods of its residents by combining classroom education with hands-on, work-based learning. But what happens when businesses are shuttered and students must learn at a distance? Meghan Hughes, president of the Community College of Rhode Island, says the COVID-19 pandemic is actually a great opportunity for her school and its students to demonstrate how they can adapt in trying times.
How do we make sense of higher education and its relationship to the economy in the midst of a pandemic that changed the world overnight? Normally, when the economy is down, you go back to school, says Tony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. But what’s your strategy if that’s not a great option right now? Carnevale explains why this economic crisis is different, who’s most at risk, and what it means for post-high school education and training.
It’s time for colleges and universities to take a hard look in the mirror, says University of Maryland Baltimore County President Freeman Hrabowski. Too many students don’t make it to graduation and others are faced with the false choice between pursuing a broad education and gaining technical skills, when they actually need both. At UMBC, he’s proving that with the right support, even the most challenged students will succeed.
Oren Cass, author of The Once and Future Worker, says we’ve gone too far in our college-going culture, steering too many students down a postsecondary pathway that only serves about one-third of our population. It’s time, he says, to destigmatize vocational and technical education, to create and fund alternative pathways between high school and the workplace, and to fill millions of jobs that don’t, or shouldn’t, require a college degree.
Using regional skill shapes to build a better learning ecosystem
For decades, employers have relied on educational credentials—like the high school diploma and bachelor’s degree—to sort and filter job applicants. Degrees from highly selective colleges have a powerful brand attached to them that signals valuable skills and traits. But these credentials have always been a blunt instrument—because they reflect the assessment (and conception) of skills from the perspective of educators, not employers.
Colleges and universities, the institutions that have historically defined higher education in America, are apprehensive over the prospect of declining cohorts of newly minted high school graduates that have flocked to their campuses in growing numbers for decades. The writer William S. Burroughs once said “If you’re not growing, you’re dying,” a truth higher education administrators have undoubtedly taken to heart.
It’s now been seven years since The New York Times dubbed 2012 the “Year of the MOOC (massively open online course).” Since then, online learning has evolved, but not in the ways that were predicted. Recently, there have been promising signs that online education could still change the game. YouTube has already become the most widely used platform for independent learning, especially for the so-called iGen.
Fueling Innovation for the Learning Ecosystem of the Future
Human+ Skills for the Future of Work
Depending on who you ask, liberal arts graduates are either headed for a lifetime of serving coffee as a barista or are capable of doing absolutely anything. Most of these bold claims have little data underpinning them, so Strada Institute for the Future of Work joined forces with Emsi, a labor market analytics firm, to get some definitive answers.
We’re getting mixed messages about the outcomes of liberal arts graduates. Depending on who you ask, these graduates are either headed for a lifetime as a barista or are capable of doing absolutely anything. The answer lies somewhere in the middle.
Andrew Hanson of the Strada Institute for the Future of Work discusses findings in the institute’s new report. Skills such as creativity, communication, and problem solving are not only highly valued in the workforce, but are also uniquely human skills that will help prepare the workforce for technological advancement.
Underemployment's Long-Term Effects on the Careers of College Grads