Pioneer in Workforce and Continuing Education Expands Upskilling Offerings for Public and Private Sector Employer Partners

National University expands employer and community partnerships with a strategic focus on veteran and military outreach, community college partnerships, and credential pathways

SAN DIEGO, CA – [July 9, 2024]National University (NU)—a nonprofit veteran-founded institution serving more than 50,000 students annually through its degree programs and 80,000 more through its workforce and professional training programs—today announced the ambitious national expansion of its employer partnerships division, which helps companies, government agencies, schools and institutions of higher education attract, educate, and retain talent. 

Workforce and Community Education (WCE)—formerly known as Workforce Education Solutions (WES)—reflects the program’s expanded focus on outreach to new audiences, including military and veteran communities, military spouses, and community colleges, in addition to its long-standing focus on creating education solutions that meet the rapidly-evolving needs of public and private sector employers.

“In today’s fast-changing economy, employers are holding on to—and doubling down on—existing talent even with a high degree of economic uncertainty because they understand that talent development and business and organizational success are two sides of the same coin,” said Chris Graham, executive vice president of Workforce and Community Education at National University. “This initiative will align our longtime focus of developing partnerships with employers to design programs that are tightly coupled with the needs of employers, workers, and the modern workplace.”

The announcement comes as employers across major industries essential for economic growth and development continue to face a steep shortage of talent. Meanwhile, according to data compiled by the Society for Human Resource Management, 86% of HR managers highlight the importance of training to retain talent, and 76% of employees are more inclined to stay at organizations that offer opportunities for continuing education and upskilling. 

NU currently works with a broad network of human resources, talent development, and workforce planning teams at employers nationwide to help train and upskill their frontline workers, managers, and executives. Its current partnerships include Fortune 100 companies such as Amazon and Southwest Airlines. The university also serves as a continuing education partner to various state and public sector agencies, including the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and major K-12 school partners including San Diego County Office of Education.

The Workforce and Community Education team designs, builds, and scales customized education programs created by experts in their respective fields, ensuring that the educational offerings are relevant and expertly aligned with each sector’s specific requirements. To achieve this goal, WCE has expanded its focus on three key strategies: outreach to military and veteran communities, developing tailored education programs for community college alumni and staff, and leveraging stackable credentials to create multiple on- and off-ramps to lifelong learning as part of its “value-rich education” strategy.

Military and Veteran Communities: Founded 53 years ago by a retired Navy captain, NU maintains a strong commitment to serving military members and Veterans from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Meg O’Grady, senior vice president, of military and government programs, leads a team of specialists that will now handle all of NU’s military and veteran outreach. 

As part of WCE’s expansion, this team will conduct outreach to base installations, Veterans associations, and military spouses. Earlier this year, NU was designated a Gold status Military Friendly School and a Top 10 Military Friendly Spouse School by Military Friendly®.

Community College Partnerships: To expand its reach with community colleges, NU is undertaking an ambitious new co-location strategy and deepening its transfer and articulation partnerships. It also has built new academic pathways, including 19 doctoral programs, for community college faculty and classified staff members.   

Value-Rich Education: WCE will now be the hub for NU’s signature credential-rich pathways initiative, which leverages stackable credentials to ensure that individuals have multiple on- and off-ramps to career opportunities throughout their academic experience.

Companies partnering with WCE can also tap into the NU alumni network, a diverse talent pool of more than 230,000 graduates and 50,000 current students across six specialized schools spanning a wide range of critical industries and in-demand skills.

Well known for its distinctive focus on serving nontraditional, working, and military-affiliated students, NU has for more than 50 years honed its unique expertise in developing workforce-relevant degrees and credentials designed specifically for working adults. Today, NU has a student population that reflects the shifting and highly diverse demographics of higher education today. and active-duty service members at U.S. military bases and installations. Recognized as a veteran-friendly online college and a Yellow Ribbon school, NU accepts the Post-9/11 GI Bill®.

For more information on WCE and to learn more about its partnerships with community colleges, companies, associations, and government agencies, visit the National University website

About National University: National University, a Veteran-founded nonprofit, has been dedicated to meeting the needs of nontraditional, working, and military students by providing accessible, affordable higher education opportunities since 1971. As San Diego’s largest private nonprofit university, NU offers over 190 online and on-campus programs with flexible four-week and eight-week classes and one-to-one graduate education models designed to help students reach their goals while balancing busy lives. Since its founding, the NU community has grown to 130,000 learners served per year—50,000 degree-seeking students and 80,000 workforce and professional development students—and 240,000 alumni around the globe, many of whom serve in helping industries such as business, education, health care, cybersecurity, and law and criminal justice. To learn more about National University’s new possibilities in education including next-generation education, value-rich education, and whole human education, visit NU.edu

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