Every learner is unique and deserving of an education experience that respects and embraces their individuality. For too long, our education system has emphasized conformity with a one-size-fits-all approach that prizes standardization in a linear path — K-12 to college to career. We are working to change that.
We believe education enables every person to develop the skills, mindset, and abilities to live a fulfilling and purposeful life. This requires every learner to access an individualized education that meets the unique needs and sparks a continual pursuit of lifelong learning.
Our vision moves society toward one in which every person can discover and develop their talents through an individualized education, and then apply their acquired skills to reach their potential.
We can get there by supporting education opportunities that help people unlock their potential with a dynamic, three-dimensional model that:
- Encourages learners to identify their talents and passions
- Helps learners gain the knowledge and values necessary to turn their talents into valued skills
- Provides opportunity for learners to use their skills to experience success by helping others succeed
Our vision in action
Here are a few examples of partnerships bringing our vision to life by creating a culture of lifelong learning, expanding access to education, building individualized pathways, and improving the quality of educational experiences.
- We invest in education innovators and social entrepreneurs who believe in the potential of every learner. From the creators of Cadence Learning, Minerva, Schoolhouse.world, and Outschool, to the VELA Education Fund and more, each has the power to transform education for every individual student.
- We value the important role teachers and parents have in educating the next generation. Empowered is a community of teachers, embracing a growth mindset, committed to their craft, their students, and their communities. Empowered teachers transform classrooms into real-world experiences and transform careers into opportunities for enormous social impact.
Fostering thought leadership
- We support research and analysis of the conditions that optimize individualized learning, specifically around unconventional models and modern education funding. The Charles Koch Institute, a member of the Stand Together community, is proud to support the thoughtful work of experts from a range of industry and research institutions, including the Urban Institute, Reason Foundation, Education Reimagined, among and others.
- Advancing education policy
- We believe in transforming the policy landscape so that every learner has access to every education experience available. In West Virginia, our community led the passage of the Hope Scholarship Program, modernizing the state’s education funding by allowing providing students to access up to $4,600 to personalized their individual learning experience.
Creating a culture of lifelong learning
- We support education entrepreneurs who can drive transformation in their institutions toward building a shared vision for lifelong learning that focuses on personalized processes and a growth mindset. Arizona State University is a partner institution at the forefront of driving cultural transformation in the 21st century university with its Agent Learner Initiative. The initiative is developing a group of high impact tools and programs that support the broad goal of enabling students to pursue their own individualized and self-driven learning goals while building partnerships with university leaders who are driving broad based innovations at their respective institutions.
Building individualized pathways
- We support the creation and scaling of customizable pathways that allow learners to build post-secondary education experiences tailored to their needs. We partner with the SkillUp Coalition, an upskilling solution built to provide workers with personalized career path recommendations and equip them with the skills to thrive in high-growth, in-demand jobs. The innovative platform, supported by a coalition of over 50 training providers, employers, philanthropies and tech innovators is providing “just-in-time” support for millions of Americans displaced by COVID-19 who are searching for new skills and job opportunities.
- We support programs that reduce barriers to access while meeting the needs of more learners. PelotonU helped to pioneer the “hybrid college” as a faster and more affordable type of higher education institution in 2015. It leverages competency-based education online programs from other universities and layers on individualized mentorship, community, and connection to the workforce for recent high school graduates and working adults who are not well served by the traditional system of higher education.
Improving education quality
- We support the development and application of new approaches to teaching that drive better outcomes in areas such as learner fulfillment, critical thinking, and personal transformation. We partner with the Association for Colleges and University Educators (ACUE) to ensure college educators have the best-in-class training, resources, and support to provide a transformational experience for learners in their classrooms.
More examples of the work supported by the Stand Together community:
The Stand Together community is committed to helping parents, learners, educators, and entrepreneurs expand new and innovate approaches to education.
- Dr. Pamela Cantor at Turn Around for Children is leading the development of new research around the science of learning, supported through the Charles Koch Institute. And, the Charles Koch Foundation is powering new research and scientific based evidence around the important impact of education pluralism can offer students and families by Dr. Ashley Berner of John Hopkins University.
- The ACE Apprenticeship Pathways Project assembles 10+ apprenticeship programs to create a system to award college credit for work-based learning. ACE works with a cohort of innovative universities to commit to recognizing this credit toward degree requirements. ACE also partners with employers and digital badging platform Credly to award skills badges to learners who can use them to demonstrate abilities that companies care about in the hiring process.
- Genesys Works provides low-income high school students access to training, work opportunities, and networks that fuels their aspirations and positions them for career success. Paid internships, mentoring, and college and career coaching ensures students have the knowledge and experience to achieve goals they may not have previously thought possible. As these young adults move into professional careers, they close economic opportunity gaps, contribute to a more diverse workforce, and create change in their communities.
- Per Scholas helps those from underserved communities secure stable, well-paying tech industry jobs by working with employers to understand their specific IT needs and offering tuition-free training for adults. The result: companies diversify their workforce while an often-overlooked community pursues rewarding career pathways.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Talent Pipeline Management Initiative is a workforce program designed to meet the needs of today’s dynamic economy by creating strategic alignment between employers and education providers. The curriculum is designed to walk businesses through the process of identifying the skills needed for open jobs and then collaborating with education providers to build programs that result in better job opportunities for graduates.
- Achieve Partners is an investment fund seeking to build alternative employment pathways, particularly in high earning fields like IT and healthcare. The fund focuses on transforming staffing and business services into short-term “outsourced apprenticeships” that train learners in job-ready skills and place them into positions at client companies. The cost of these programs is not borne by the learner, but by the employer. Their goal is to place 100,000 learners into high quality jobs through their programs.
- Americans for Prosperity, an organization in our community focused on grassroots policy reform, is transforming policy at the state and federal level to get funding for families who want more opportunities.
- yes. every kid., also within the Stand Together community, works with anyone to support policies that respect the dignity of every student, fosters a diversity of approaches, and is open to the free flow of ideas and innovation.
We help enable a diverse, innovative and student-centric education system designed for every learner. America should be a place where all individuals find a place to learn and a path to a better future.