Steve Gunderson

Given the extraordinary regulatory and political challenges facing career education, what improvements/innovations does the sector need to implement to remain a leader in higher education?

Our most important challenge is one of communications. We must change the conversation. We must lift up our role in meeting the workforce skill needs of the nation and in providing millions of families with the skills necessary for economic success. We must articulate the gap between the numbers of skilled workers our nation needs and the current shortage of capacity. Unless the private sector grows in size and service, America cannot meet these workforce skill needs.

Please explain the innovations you’ve brought to (or observed in) career education. What led you to recognize the need for these innovations? What has been their impact on students and higher education?

My hope is that a positive message articulating our role as a key player in higher education that provides postsecondary skills will change the conversation; change our message; and change how others see us. In today's diverse workplace, with today's diverse workforce, we must celebrate the diversity of our nation's higher education system. When doing so, we will grow in size and in service.

What quality about career colleges or their students motivates you personally?

When we listen to the stories of our students, we realize that we are the bridge to opportunity for so many of our students. The students have all gone the extra mile to obtain the skills they need to succeed. They are such an inspiration – motivated and focused.

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