Project-Based Learning has been a common theme amongst the GenDIY profiles that we have featured on GettingSmart.com and appears to be a key component to crafting a individualized education and career pathway. Joshua Stroup who had an accelerated project-based learning college experience, explained that this allowed him to brush elbows with professionals from IBM and other Fortune 500 companies. After graduating from college and receiving several quality offers, Stroup found himself in the position to be interviewing his peers as a Manager just a short year after starting his career.
Stroup is now the Director of Learner Engagement at Knod, a Salt Lake City based talent development company working to eliminate the education-to-employment gap by producing job candidates who are ready for the workforce by focusing first on employer needs, not student needs.
Knod has flipped aspects of the traditional higher education model by working in conjunction with employers to ensure students are gaining applicable real world experience and are prepared for the jobs that currently exist prior to graduating. The Knod Method is a proprietary teaching method and 21st century skills based accelerator program created by Dr. Michael Mayrath, and covers learning how to learn, professional communication and leadership including Franklin Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective College Students.
Founded by Graham Doxey, Knod originally launched offering programs in Kenya with extension programs to HELP University in Malaysia. 2015 has proved to be a period of growth for Knod including announcements of its first U.S. based partnership with New Charter University to offer a bachelor’s degree for under $13,000, a $3.5 million in funding from Epic Ventures and Impact Investment Leaders and a newly launched Career Advisory Board.
Prior to Knod, Doxey launched Neumont University in 2003, with the mission to close the gap between computer science skills taught in the classroom vs. what employers really wanted. This is only the beginning Doxey explains, “Knod has several potential partnerships in England, Spain and Latin America and aim to make jobs accessible to the global middle class not just traditional university students.”
Students are graduating Knod’s programs with little or no debt, attaining applicable work experience and creating meaningful relationships at local organizations that are hiring. For employers, it is providing an earlier opportunity to invest in a talent pipeline prior to joining the workforce. Knod is teaching students how to interact with the tools of today and focusing on the interconnectedness of the world and they intend to continue to make a lasting imprint on the education to employment gap globally.
Young people are taking control of their own pathway to careers, college and contribution. Powered by digital learning, “GenDIY” is combatting unemployment and the rising costs of earning a degree by seeking alternative pathways to find or create jobs they love. Follow their stories here and on Twitter at #GenDIY. For more on GenDIY check out:
- Carving Out a Career as a Creative Entrepreneur
- When I Grow Up: Helping Young Adults Explore Careers Collaboratively
- Navigating Early College and Dual Credit Alternatives
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