Prepare for the Future of Learning and Employment
In June I had the pleasure of speaking with Isabel Dunnigan, our Executive Director here at Concordia Continuing Education. She characterizes so much of what we stand for at CCE. She is authentic, creative, and approachable - her human-centric approach leads the way to a well rounded, agile vision of working and learning.
We had an honest and open conversation about the highs and lows of the pandemic, future plans for the university that continue to push educational boundaries, aligning us with our next-gen goals, and above all else - the importance of adaptability in today’s world.
Explaining that we plan to continue to be agile in keeping up with public safety codes and concerns, she focuses still primarily on the positives. Stating that “what motivates me a lot going through those hard times (referring to adapting to the pandemic) is coming up with projects and solutions that are in sync with the needs of our community, and ultimately, our society as a whole.”
After adapting working and learning environments to be online and remote, we all got to spend a lot of time thinking about societal solutions, the need for inclusivity, and an innovative glance at a new potential way of life.
Reflecting on the needs of students, employees, and prospective students alike, our director was well aware of this systemic evolution. Stating that she and CCE plan to stick with the positive solutions put in place during the pandemic, but to continue to move forward with hybrid, and of course, adaptable solutions and techniques to both teaching and learning.
In light of preparing CCE students for prospective employments, Isabel mused; “The standard unemployed person has drastically changed. Many of them are educated, but are simply lacking the skills of the ever evolving workforce that is driven by our needs as a society.”
Ultimately, continuing education and the concept of lifelong learning, is the answer to this gap or need. Focusing on timely output of current, in-demand skills and trainings that are needed or lacking within the workforce, education system, and society at large.
The truth is the workforce has also evolved, and is requiring us all to become more agile, more responsive. Become more accessible, to diversify our systems and beliefs. This is what makes a vibrant community. Adaptability thus, has become a key element of on-going and future success.
May we all continue to learn and when necessary, unlearn. Seek to understand and demystify what is unfamiliar to us. Adapt to the comings of life with ease in our minds and love in our hearts.