General Education

8 Big Takeaways From This Year’s APSCU Convention and Exposition

8 Big Takeaways From This Year’s APSCU Convention and Exposition
Image from
Matthew Creegan profile
Matthew Creegan June 20, 2014

Here’s a recap of the big ideas educators and leaders addressed concerning the top education innovations necessary to engage with nontraditional students.

Noodle Programs


Noodle Courses

Article continues here

The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) wrapped up its annual three-day conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday that focused on future developments and innovations in higher education.

The APSCU was teched out for the event with an official app to allow attendees to customize their schedules and evaluate sessions. The conference was promoted on Twitter with the hashtag #APSCU2014, and the Association summed up some key takeaways from the conference with its eight innovative ideas that came out of the 2014 APSCU convention.

# 1. What it means to be military-friendly and veteran-friendly

A big issue discussed at the conference was veteran and military affairs. APSCU’s vice president of Veteran and Military Affairs, Michael Dakduk, spoke about colleges and universities are attempting to become military-friendly and veteran-friendly, and what distinguishes the two terms.

# 2. Competency-based learning

Working with employers and students to demonstrate the value of competency-based learning in regards to employability

# 3. Understanding students

Author and political strategist, Leslie Sanchez, spoke on the value of education in higher education. According to the APSCU website, a prominent theme in her discussion was “knowledge sharing and acquiring a deeper understanding of the students that institutions will serve."

# 4. Customized learning

Jeb Bush, former governor of the state of Florida and brother of former president George Bush, made a big splash at the event on Wednesday, when he arrived as the keynote speaker at the conference. Bush closed out the conference with his speech, “Leading in a Climate of Change," which focused on his continued efforts in the area of education reform.

# 5. Millennial politics

The APSCU says that millennials are not impressed with the governments of president Obama and his predecessor, George Bush. This makes them more open to private sector options, “but social issues are deal-breakers for this demographic."

# 6. The Workforce Investment Act

The APSCU says that it estimated that by 2022 the U.S. will be 11 million workers short in postsecondary education. Presenters at the conference speculated that the best way to handle this is for institutions to connect with workforce boards in local communities.

# 7. Open badges

Open badges are ways to recognize students’ skills for things they have learned online and off. Recognition is awarded in the form of digital “badges" that are online representations of skills people have learned. APSCU’s session, “From College to Careers: Sharing Competencies through Open Badges," aims to use this new digital recognition approach to verify learning and skills.

# 8. Stigma in vocational or technical training

APSCU cites the stigma that is associated with vocational and technical training to a generational divide between young people and their older counterparts, while businesses are trapped in the middle.


Mozilla Open Badges. (2014, January 1). Open Badges. Retrieved June 20, 2014, from Open Badges

Eight Innovative Ideas That Came Out of the 2014 APSCU Convention. (2014, January 1). Eight Innovative Ideas That Came Out of the 2014 APSCU Convention. Retrieved June 20, 2014, from APSCU


Noodle Courses


Noodle Programs