Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is reimaging the traditional conception of college as the middle ground between high school and the workplace. In a merger with LRNG, a non-profit that serves disadvantaged youth populations, SNHU will work with cities and employers to develop innovative learning and workforce solutions.
The ambitious effort will reach out to both pre-college and older learners, offer opportunities to youth from low-income backgrounds to become more engaged with their studies and help them transition into rewarding careers. LRNG was chosen, in part, because of its groundbreaking platforms that use micro-credentials, badges, and playlists as part of the learning sequences.
“I told our team that we had to build a learning platform that accommodates an 11th-grader working on her associate’s degree as easily as it accommodates a 60-year-old formerly incarcerated adult working on his GED or high school diploma,” says Paul LeBlanc, president of SNHU.
Preparation has already begun in Chicago and Birmingham, Alabama, with plans to be fully operational in both cities by next summer. LeBlanc says that cities provide the ideal amount of scale for these solutions compared to the complexities of designing a statewide strategy.