Overheard

ASU+GSV Summit 2021: Kathleen deLaski on disrupting the need for a degree

Education and tech leaders gather to share innovative ideas about what's to come
By Laura Aka
August 9, 2021

The Education Design Lab designs, tests, and launches and scales new models for higher education, explains Kathleen deLaski, founder and CEO of Education Design Lab. She notes that over the years, the Education Design Lab is shifting some focus onto lifelong learning for people, deLaski describes as “new majority learners, which is basically everyone for whom college was not originally designed.”

The organization is launching a three-year project called XCredit with the goal of giving value, similar to credentials, based on a person’s lived experience.

deLaski explains, “XCredit is short for experience credit, which means how can a worker, or a learner, or a single mom, or someone who has lived experience or work experience, but no degree, get credit for that? And we don’t mean college credit. We mean, how can that count as experience and competency when an employer is considering hiring them?”

Initially, the project will focus on people who have military experience. “We’re working with a partner that is already doing competency translation for military. And we’re working with four or five, at first, employers who military would transition to and trying to set up this translation currency,” says deLaski.

Measuring 21st century skills is being evaluated first, says deLaski. “XCredit is going to offer a way for people to immediately get validated in their creative problem solving or critical thinking skills. Doing a proving ground simulation that companies and employers have helped us design. So, we’re hoping that we can make them universal enough that they’ll be transferable across many fields.”

Click here to learn more about Education Design Lab.

WorkingNation—a collaborating partner of the ASU+GSV Summit—sat down with deLaski in San Diego as part of our #WorkingNationOverheard social media series.

Hear from more innovators in education and tech in the public, private, and nonprofit spheres attending the ASU+GSV Summit 2021 here.

Follow the conversation on social media: #asugsvsummit #workingnationoverheard