Next for SNHU: Game-Based Learning and Digital Badges for Middle Schoolers (Inside Higher Ed)
Southern New Hampshire University is again trying to disrupt the status quo in higher ed — this time by attempting to link middle schoolers with college degrees.
The nonprofit university, which has one of the largest online enrollments in the country, announced today that it is acquiring the nonprofit LRNG — a Chicago-based organization that helps young people find job opportunities by encouraging them to acquire digital badges on its game-based learning platform.
With LRNG, Southern New Hampshire plan to launch physical community-based learning spaces where students aged 14 to 24 can study toward free or low-cost credentials. Currently, none of the existing LRNG credentials can be counted toward a degree. But Paul LeBlanc, the university’s president, wants to change that.
Ray Schroeder, associate vice chancellor for online learning at the University of Illinois at Springfield, agreed the merger may help to “address the disconnect between degrees and jobs.” Efforts to develop a pipeline of students between school, college and work are not new, he said, adding, however, that “this is the first time that I have encountered such a relationship that reaches down to early teenagers.”