This publication details the efforts of a University of New Hampshire team leading the development of an innovative, personalized online hub for students, educators, alumni, and community members. The goal is to create a community of lifelong learners and equip the workforce with knowledge and skills to gain a competitive advantage and adapt to future demands.
Join Us on the Path University of New Hampshire Extension and Outreach & Engagement creates online hub to provide ongoing, targeted learning opportunities
By Catherine Leach & Pam Doherty (with Heather Martin)
Join Us on the Path: University of New Hampshire Extension and Outreach & Engagement creates online hub to provide ongoing, targeted learning opportunities
Copyright © Extension Foundation Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). Published by Extension Foundation.
Publish Date: 08/19#/2022
Citations for this publication may be made using the following:
Leach, C., Doherty, P. Kansas City: Extension Foundation (2022). Join Us on the Path: University of New Hampshire Extension and Outreach & Engagement Creates Online Hub to Provide Ongoing, Targeted Learning Opportunities (1 st ed). ISBN: 978-1-955687-17-1
Producer: Ashley S. Griffin
Peer Review Coordinator: Rose Hayden-Smith
Technical Implementer and Co-writer: Heather Martin
Welcome to University of New Hampshire Extension and Outreach & Engagement creates online hub to provide ongoing, targeted learning opportunities, a resource created for the Cooperative Extension Service and published by the Extension Foundation. We welcome feedback and suggested resources for this publication, which could be included in any subsequent versions. This work is supported by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
For more information please contact:
Extension Foundation c/o Bryan Cave LLP One Kansas City Place
1200 Main Street, Suite 3800 Kansas City, MO 64105-2122 https://extension.org/
THE UNH ENGAGEMENT HUB TEAM
Director of Youth Programs Office of Outreach & Engagement University of New Hampshire
Project Manager Office of Outreach & Engagement University of New Hampshire
Communication Director Extension University of New Hampshire
Marketing & Promotion Specialist Department of Theatre & Dance University of New Hampshire
Health & Well-Being Program Team Leader Extension University of New Hampshire
From the effects of declining student enrollment and fewer high school graduates to workforce needs and skill gaps to the pace of change in the economy and the global pandemic, the challenges that the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and New Hampshire communities face are becoming more intense and complex. But as they have always done, UNH Extension professionals continue to develop innovative ways to help respond to these challenges. This team is leading the development of an innovative, personalized online hub for students, educators, alumni, and community members — the goal is to create a community of lifelong learners and equip the workforce with knowledge and skills to gain competitive advantage and adapt to future demands.
Embracing Our Responsibility
As the state’s largest public university, UNH— through its strategic “Embrace NH” initiative — is collaborating with several partners to develop The Engagement Hub, UNH Extension and Outreach & Engagement’s contribution to the effort to enrich scholarship, enhance curriculum, and prepare educated, engaged citizens. The Engagement Hub will dynamically connect multiple partners on a single platform, leading students, educators, professionals, community members, and lifelong learners along a path that considers the individual at every step of their UNH journey. For example, it will guide youth along a pathway from elementary school to higher education to the workforce. It will steer educators and school administrators to opportunities to expand their skills in response to their students ’ changing needs. The Engagement Hub will help learners of all ages gravitate to programs that are personally relevant and have the potential to improve, support, and guide them through their education and into a fulfilling career. By supporting the ongoing learning of primary and secondary educators through professional development that meets their needs, UNH can engrain itself deeply into its local communities.
The Engagement Hub is in the early stages of development and has a high potential for making significant local and statewide impact. In addition to reaching new student populations, the short-term goal is to strengthen the way youth, families, and educators become aware of and connect with UNH opportunities for learning. In the medium term, the UNH Extension team expects to use the Hub to further define learning pathways that give K-12 students and educators a logical, cohesive, and applicable route to meet their goals for professional or lifelong development. Artificial intelligence tools, for example, will personalize a student’s journey and give learners of all ages and from all parts of the state access to flexible and individually curated content. The team is creating learner personas, like the one below, to help develop this customized learning experience.
Possible Targeted Educational Pathways
User Persona Profile
Over age 25, possibly with dependents
Custom training/professional development Professional skills certificates Micro-credentials and digital badges
Attends school part time and works full time
Needs flexible schedule and ability to take classes online and on weekends or during the evening
Typically has some work experience
Wants value and job security
Longer-term, the team plans to broaden the Hub to include virtually any type of outreach UNH offers and to target a variety of learner personas — for example, undergraduate and graduate students (e.g. with internships, community service), alumni (e.g. with alumni events, connections, resources), and community members throughout the state (i.e. with public events, lifelong learning opportunities). The Engagement Hub and learning pathway model are a way for universities to guide each learner effectively and efficiently from any point of entry. Personalizing the experience helps to keep learners engaged in the institution and on their own relevant and satisfying personal learning journey — their own path.
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