We investigate the factors that shape innovation outcomes at every level, from individual and organizational to regional, national and global. Our projects create impact for the future of higher education and other industries.
By the year 2021, 64 percent of Florida jobs will require some form of postsecondary education. At the current rate, Florida is not producing enough college graduates to fill the future needs of business. The UWF Innovation Institute felt the answer was in the 2.2 million Floridians who started college but never finished. The challenge -- how to create a realistic and sustainable pathway for these adults to return to college and complete their degree.
The Innovation Institute took a deep dive into this challenge, developing a ground-breaking methodology to support degree completion for these adults learners. In collaboration with partner colleges and universities across the state, in 2014, we launched Complete Florida, as a legislatively funded online, concierge-style service designed to turn college stop-outs into degree completers. At the center of Complete Florida is the personalized coaching service, helping these adult learners navigate the path to degree completion and improving the lives of not only the student but also their families.
Many challenges face the adult learner wanting to return to college to finish their degree. Institutions and educational systems also face challenges in serving those adult learners. Working together, research, innovation and operations staff design, develop, implement and evaluate solutions and best practices for complex problems of higher education stakeholders. The Complete Florida research library (link below) has more on how adult learners and educational institutions overcome challenges of degree completion.
A research agenda focused on innovation and operation permeates our work in Complete Florida. We examine needs of stakeholders (students, business and industry, educators, etc.) and how to meet those needs through innovative strategies and design thinking, leading to a streamlining of academic business practices. We prototype, test, refine and finally implement solutions that improve systems and support degree attainment and student success. For more information, see our library of research.