Drucker InstituteLifelong Learning System of South Bend
Lifelong Learning System City of South Bend
For too many people, learning ends when they finish high school. Economic opportunity, however, is increasingly dependent upon lifelong learning. Presently, 65% of all jobs in the U.S. requires some post-secondary education, yet only 39% of adults in the South Bend area meet that criterion, putting future job security at risk.
With this in mind, the Drucker Institute is working to design, prototype, and implement a part digital, part physical system, a Lifelong Learning System, available to any local resident eligible for a St. Joseph County Public Library card. Residents completing a profile on the digital portal can use it to learn what job skills are in demand, based on employers’ input, then earn high school and post-secondary degrees, as well as a variety of badges and credentials recognized in the local job market that prove mastery of those skills. The portal keeps a record of what has been learned, and with the resident’s permission, their profiles can be shared with local employers, leading to job opportunities.
The Foundation believes that the Drucker Institute’s Lifelong Learning System directly supports our mission in the area of education, while likely having a future impact on economic development. We elected to support their grant request, joining a number of well-known local, national, and international organizations interested in helping scale this program nationally.