Top universities’ new platform helps with retention, post-grad careers

New tech builds relationships, ePortfolios, and could help boost campus performance

LRM-students-institutionIt’s called an LRM (Learning Relationship Management) platform, and as its founder told me, does for learning what CRM did for sales: It boosts collaborative relationships, yields return-on-investment, and ultimately bolsters performance for all involved.

The LRM, called Fidelis, is the brainchild of Gunnar Counselman, a Harvard Business School student of Clay Christensen’s and original collaborator on his book, “Disrupting Class.” He’s also a frequent speaker on the topic of transforming training and education and a TEDx presenter. After spending years developing the LRM, reputable and innovative universities are eager to sample what the platform can really do.

After working with Christensen on the book, and during consulting for Bain as well as independently, “I evolved my thinking that the absence of appropriate learning relationships is the root of most educational problems. I saw first-hand how important the coaching relationship was while a VP at Inside Track, but through that students need more than just one coach to succeed,” explained Counselman. “I then developed the first version of the LRM in 2012 for our own use to build a scalable solution to the military to civilian career transition.”

And for Counselman, building a resource platform to help those interested in not just education, but career; not just in attending a postsecondary institution, but knowing why you were there, was the main idea behind the platform.

Now, colleges and universities are saying one of the most helpful, and innovative, aspects of the LRM is the ability for admin to track student progress of goals throughout their education and receive actionable data on student interactions with communities, businesses, and micro-credentialing opportunities…an incredible tool not just for all institutions, but especially for liberal arts.

“Fewer than 50 percent of students who start college graduate; fewer than one-third of those who graduate have jobs within 6 months of graduation,” said Counselman. “It turns out that all students need personal learning plans, mentors, advising, community, and industry connection, not just military students.”

(Next page: How it works)

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