2015 AACRAO Technology & Transfer Conference


Opening Plenary Presentation
Sunday, July 12, 3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
Stacey Güney, Director – HLC ACCelerator, Austin Community College 


Panel Discussion
Monday, July 13, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Cam Houser, CEO, 3 Day Startup (3DS)
Andrew O’Hara, Founder and CEO, Chiron Health
Tyler Mandry, CEO, AskU
Mike Reilly, Executive Director, AACRAO [Moderator]


"What are Business Leaders Really Looking for in a College Graduate?"
The news is full of stories of businesses struggling to fill positions because they can’t find enough qualified graduates.  Business owners tell us new employees arrive with college degrees but lacking the skills they need to succeed.  Many businesses are providing their own training for their employees.  And did we mention they hate our transcripts? 

Austin, Texas is a hotbed of high-tech industries and creative start-ups.  Join us as we welcome a panel of Austin business leaders to discuss the state of education and work and explore how colleges and universities can work together to prepare the workforce of the 21st Century.

Tuesday, July 14, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Steven Mintz, Executive Director, Institute for Transformational Learning for the University of Texas System and Professor of History, The University of Texas at Austin

"Competency-Based Education 2.0"
For years, accreditors, employers and a host of educational reformers have sought an outcomes-oriented education with explicit learning objectives and rigorous assessments to evaluate and certify students’ knowledge and proficiencies. Convinced that grade inflation and a diluted liberal arts curriculum have eroded the value of a traditional college degree, a growing body of thought has come to favor an approach that emphasizes demonstrated mastery of essential competencies.  Why, then, has Competency-Based Education – an educational model that places a premium on learning outcomes rather than class time – evoked a great deal of ambivalence among many observers? The answer, is because Competency-Based Education lacks a commonly accepted definition.

The University of Texas System campuses are implementing an approach to Competency-Based Education that differs fundamentally from that offered elsewhere.  Rather than conflating competency-based education with any online approach that grants credit based on tests, papers, and projects rather than seat time, it focuses on CBE’s fundamental characteristics. 

For competency-based education to be truly effective, it is essential to move forward on multiple fronts.  We need high impact program designs that offer personalized learning pathways, a high degree of interactivity, state-of-the-art content, and powerful networking and collaborative experiences. We need 360-degree individualized student support, including instructional facilitators who can provide the mentoring that too few students currently receive. And we need new technologies to power next generation pedagogies and forms of education research previously impossible.  Competency-Based Education can produce unprecedented gains in access, affordability, and student success. The challenge is to do this right.