Innovative Training Initiative Enables Fraternity Members To Earn Digital Badges and Give Them a Competitive Edge
FT. LAUDERDALE, FL/LONDON, UK and CARMEL, IN— February 18, 2021 — Kaplan, Inc., a global leader in academic innovation, and Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, one of the largest fraternities in North America, today announced the planned launch of a set of transformational new programs that will address the gap between college education and career readiness training, providing digital badge credentials and marketable skills to help meet the needs of Generation Z college students.
Prior to the 2021 fall semester, Lambda Chi Alpha members can enroll and start earning credentials in the innovative Leadership Skills Credential Program, designed in partnership with Kaplan to develop four learning journeys: Leadership, Finance, Philanthropy, and Recruiting. This training will teach a blend of technical and soft skills, such as, teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, work ethic, flexibility, adaptability and other interpersonal skills needed to successfully obtain and maintain employment.
“We saw an opportunity to provide a resource that many college-aged students in Generation Z don’t have right now,” said Troy Medley, CEO of Lambda Chi Alpha, which has chapters at nearly 200 universities. “As we continue to grapple with an unprecedented pandemic and economic recession, Gen Z students need and want greater ROI from their college experience. Employers also want to know that the graduates they hire are career-ready. Likewise, students want to graduate with quantifiable abilities that lead to a high-paying job. We believe this program will bridge the gap between the high-level theory of college classroom learning and real-world practical training. The certifications earned will offer proof of work readiness that our members can offer employers.”
Lambda Chi Alpha executive leadership collaborated with Kaplan to design the Leadership Skills Credential Program, which will be delivered through Kaplan Performance Academy (KPA), a proprietary management system that provides digital learning experiences, technology and expertise to enhance professional performance in the workplace. The Leadership Skills Credential Program will help Gen Z students overcome deficiencies in work experience and workplace readiness which have been exacerbated under the current pandemic and recession.
The timing of this comprehensive career readiness training and support could not be better for students. As COVID-19 continues to negatively impact jobs, the economy and employment, the oldest Generation Z members (ages 18 to 22) are facing tremendous challenges entering the workforce, including record-high unemployment. According to the Pew Research Center, half of Gen Zers reported that they or someone in their household had lost a job or taken a cut in pay because of the pandemic. Making matters worse, Gen Zers are already less likely to have work experience compared to previous generations when they were young adults. While 62 percent of Gen Z was employed in 2018, a higher percentage of Millennials (71 percent) and Gen Xers (79 percent) were working when they were a comparable age, which means many Gen Z young adults could lack the basic skills to succeed in today’s workplace.
With competency-based certifications earned as a benefit, the Leadership Skills Credential Program will initially offer 23 competencies or topics. The program will be offered to all Lambda Chi Alpha officers (chapter presidents, treasurers, recruitment chairs, and philanthropy chairs) and will eventually include all fraternity members.
Andrew Perkins, KPA Global Director, said, “The students who receive this training will have a huge advantage over their peers in the job market. Today’s business environment demands that employees have practical application of the skills necessary to thrive in the workplace. We have designed the curriculum in a way that will engage college students in visual and interactive experiences. The skills and credentials they earn will increase their job opportunities and help them succeed in their careers.”
Employers agree. “I believe that Lambda Chi Alpha’s efforts in providing a digital badging certification program to its members gives its student leaders the opportunity to represent the vital career readiness skills they develop during their Greek experience and a way to demonstrate those skills to potential employers on their resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and similar documentation,” said David Ong, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition for Maximus, Inc., and the President-elect of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
Specializing in corporate training, Kaplan’s KPA works with companies around the world to offer assessments, customized learning journeys, and skills coaching in a variety of delivery methods and features a global network of accredited subject matter experts to support individuals in their professional development.
The Leadership Skills Credential Program training will be certified by an independent third party, Credly Acclaim, which works with leading brands including IBM, Adobe, Oracle and Dell. These companies use Credly as an internal certification tool to measure the growth of their employees’ competencies and skills.
The partnership between Lambda Chi Alpha and Kaplan highlights the evolving nature of both organizations. Long known on college campuses for its test prep offerings, Kaplan is a diversified global educational powerhouse that has recently begun offering a number of “work prep” solutions, from programs to help high school students explore potential careers to solutions enabling universities to combine degree programs with industry-recognized credentials. Lambda Chi Alpha, founded in 1909, is working to create a model modern fraternity that prioritizes leadership, membership, diversity and inclusion, physical and mental health, and public service. This includes placing greater emphasis on creating leadership opportunities for members that carry professional value, broadening its role from building relationships to building critical lifelong skills.