Cheif Learning Officer Solutions for Enterprise Productivity

Collaborating With Universities to Create a Continuous Learning Culture

 -  3/27/04

Four years ago, a South Dakota-based health care organization developed a partnership with a local university to offer an online nursing degree program for its employees. Around the same time, an Illinois manufacturer brought a local university on-site to

Chief learning officers are well aware that education and training is critical to the bottom line. They know this from their own experience and from research such as the American Management Association 2001 Staffing Survey, which reported that "companies that increased their training activities were three times more likely to report increased profits and shareholder value than companies that cut back on training."

Partnerships with colleges and universities can help provide training activities that are specifically designed for your workforce and business needs, and they can do so in a cost-effective way. But many CLOs choose to "go it alone" using in-house trainers or bringing individual trainers from commercial firms on-site for company-sponsored education and training opportunities. Since the quality of this training is often very high, what is the added value of a partnership with a higher-education institution?

Employee Retention and the Power of the Degree
What can be gained by working with colleges and universities? One obvious answer is, of course, certificates, degrees and credentials for your employees. Although high-quality instruction can be delivered through in-house trainers, providing programs of study that are accredited, offer college credits and have value in the labor market is a much more difficult undertaking.

Degrees and credentials matter the most to your employees because they are increasingly aware of the central role credentials play in their employability. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the estimated lifetime earnings of high school graduates is only $1.2 million, compared to $1.6 million for workers with associate's degrees and $2.1 million for workers with bachelor's degrees. Though individual workers may not be familiar with the Census reports, they know from their own informal observations that earnings and opportunities increase with educational attainment.

Because degrees matter so much, they are an important motivator for your employees. Partnerships with colleges and universities can help you offer your employees college credit as a reward for their efforts to gain new skills and knowledge.


Related Articles



5 Learning Strategy Essentials for 2014
April 22nd 2:00pm - 3:00pm ET

Breakfast Clubs

2014 CLO Breakfast Club, Philadelphia
May 1st - 1st, 2014Hyatt at The Bellevue


Fall 2014 CLO Symposium
October 6th - 8th, 2014Park Hyatt Aviara

From the Network

Twitter Updates