Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal and Guild CEO Rachel Romer Carlson Discuss Importance of Expanding Access to Education and Enhancing Career Mobility for Working Adult Learners

New Guild study: 83% of Guild learners cite career advancement as a primary motivation for pursuing education

Denver, Colorado, UNITED STATES

SAN DIEGO, CA, April 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rachel Romer Carlson, CEO and Co-Founder of Guild, a social impact company committed to unlocking opportunity for American workers through education and career pathways, took the stage this week with Under Secretary of Education James Kvaal at the 13th annual ASU/GSV Summit, discussing the importance of adult learners and creating economic mobility.

Romer Carlson and Kvaal, the Department of Education’s leader on postsecondary education, discussed a shared commitment to broadening access to education and enhancing career mobility for working adult learners, as well as how the government, private sector, and higher education institutions can partner to prepare workers for jobs of today, and careers of tomorrow.

According to a Guild report released this week, working adult learners make up 40% of higher education students in the U.S., but they have often been left behind by a system that has failed to understand what they need — and want — out of their education. Romer Carlson and Kvaal’s conversation included the importance of reaching adult learners, preventing student debt and building partnerships.

Select highlights:

  • Under Secretary Kvaal linked the success of adult learners to solving the nation’s broader problems and discussed the importance of career mobility for working adults: “Adult learners are just so important if we're trying to reach our goals as a country…higher education really is part of the solution to our country's problems,” with an ability to “promote upward mobility, to promote equitable opportunity.” Romer Carlson agreed, sharing that 83% of the learners Guild supports cite career advancement as a primary motivation for pursuing additional education.

  • Romer Carlson noted fully-funded employer education programs improve impact for working adult learners. “Learner rates go up when we don’t ask employees to front the money for their own education,” Romer Carlson said. “We need to make sure that like a 401(k) and healthcare, the employee doesn’t have to front the money.”

  • Under Secretary Kvaal discussed the importance of building partnerships between the private and the public sector and of colleges working with employers, which he said was an important part of the Biden Administration’s strategy with a goal of trying to “bring parties together who don't necessarily work together usually, and a big part of that is colleges working with employers…We're trying to put some of the money into those partnerships so that community colleges can work with local industries, to create programs that will lead to jobs…that are in demand in the area.”

  • Romer Carlson said developing robust data about outcomes related to education and economic mobility will create more understanding about what is needed and drive impact for working adults. “We're doing our best in our own datasets today to constantly evaluate programs for quality outcomes…We know that Chipotle employees [using the company’s education and skilling program] are being promoted at 7.5x the rate of their peers who aren't in the program. But we don't know about those students who leave Chipotle, we don't have access to the IRS data in an aggregated sense to measure it…We would love a dataset that lets us help measure the economic mobility of every American learner so we can hold programs accountable.”

  • Under Secretary Kvaal and Romer Carlson discussed the Biden Administration’s action this week to extend the pause on student loan repayments through August and to move roughly 8 million borrowers with loans in defaulted or delinquent status to ‘good status.’ Romer Carlson highlighted the role of the private sector in tackling the issue of student debt. “There is a massive role for the private sector to play in preventing student debt in the first place,” and shared that 97% of learners Guild supports using tuition assistance graduate debt-free from tuition, textbooks, or fees due to the support of their employers.

To watch the full conversation, click here.

About Guild

Guild is a social impact company that empowers American workers to unlock life-changing opportunities for personal and professional advancement through education, skill-building and coaching. As a certified B-Corp founded to bridge the gap between education and employment for working adults in the U.S. in need of upskilling for the future of work, Guild’s industry-leading technology platform allows the nation’s largest employers — including Walmart, Chipotle, Discover, Hilton, Macy’s, Target, and The Walt Disney Company — to offer strategic education and skilling to their employees. Guild connects workers to a learning marketplace of the nation’s best learning partners for working adults with tuition paid by the company. Guild’s payments and technology platform, curated learning marketplace, and advanced education and career services come together to help working adult learners advance in their education and career, debt-free. For more information, visit https://www.guildeducation.com/


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