Vice Provost of University of Texas at Austin speaks about Bestr
Guest post by Shelby Stanfield, Vice Provost and University Registrar - University of Texas at Austin
We deeply thank Mr Stanfield for his heartwarming and encouraging vision of Bestr, expressed after visiting our offices in May 2015.
It’s been widely stated that education, especially higher education, is at the precipice of change. There are lots of reasons why this is. For starters, federal and state governments who help subsidize higher education are simultaneously asking if the taxpayer money is being well spent while looking for new ways to expand access to higher education. Moreover, parents and students are questioning if their hard-earned money is being well spent for what they are receiving. Employers are questioning the need for having a higher education degree as a requirement for employment. Factor in the changing demographic of our citizenry along with the challenges experienced to achieve what people call success, and one quickly sees and begins to wonder if traditional methods and approaches taken to achieve success from youth to adult are still relevant.
This takes us to Competency-Based Education. Competency-based workforce and succession planning have become increasingly critical in today’s highly efficient and effective organizations. Historically, employers have looked for people who can do the work as defined by tasks and goals needing to be done on a day-to-day basis. While that may have worked in the past, about a decade ago employers realized that when they hire someone, they are not only hiring someone who can “do” the work, they are at the same time adding someone to their team who demonstrate on a daily basis “how” they do the work. And, in many cases “how” someone approaches their job can be more impactful than “what” someone does as their job. Competencies are a combination of traits, skills, knowledge, and experience needed to drive outstanding performance in a given job, role, function. Competencies describe employee behavior, are observable, and translate vision into behavior. Simply put:
Competencies translates the organization's vision and goals into expected employee behavior. This is what employers know and are after.
Our students know this too. They know the challenges faced to achieve success; however they define it. They are competitive. They are and act as individuals. They strive for quick gratification, quick sense of achievement, and are results-oriented. They look for ways to showcase who they are and what they can do. And, this is where Bestr comes in.
Bestr provides the platform for learners today to not only develop, yet to also demonstrate their competencies and capabilities. Today’s learners are mobile. Today’s learners are adaptable. Today’s learners are tomorrows – and even present days – workforce, and are motivated by a wide variety of interests. These interests are not static, they are dynamic and ever-changing.
Bestr was developed with these evolving motivations in mind by allowing today’s highly engaged and competitive learners to continue learning, growing, and demonstrating their capabilities. Bestr is empowerment; better stated Bestr is self-empowerment. Stated Bestr – Bestr is self-fulfillment.