Takeaways from the Second Annual City of Alexandria Higher Education Fair

We emerged from behind our computers once again for the 2nd Annual City of Alexandria Employee Higher Education Fair, just down the road from us in Alexandria, Virginia.

We are proud to be among the couple dozen schools and other organizations invited to share our college credit opportunities with employees of the City of Alexandria.

Saylor Academy's table at the Second Annual City of Alexandria Higher Education Fair, showing handouts, stickers, and other materials for the fair attendees.

Our table just before the start, minus Jeff and Sean being camera-shy!

Over the course of five hours, a parade of city employees came through — people of all ages and at all stages in their educational and professional careers.

The fair, put on by the city, exists to help connect their many employees to afffordable, meaningful educational opportunities that will further their careers (the city also provides financial assistance for education).

Here are some of the thoughts we took away from six hours at the fair:

  • There is demand among working adults for education across all career paths. Careers that once did not require college degrees increasingly look for degrees at the entry-level and especially for advancement.
  • There is demand among working adults for education at all levels: industry certifications, Associates, Bachelors, and Masters degrees, and even doctorates.
  • Affordability and flexibility are enormously important to working students. These working adults are looking for programs with at least one of these features, preferably all three: online, flexible scheduling, and affordable.
  • Even as colleges and universities scramble for revenue while continuing to deliver on their promises to students, higher/further education is not a zero-sum game.
  • Given constraints to students of time, money, and distance, demand continues to outstrip supply. University recruiters, city administrators, and non-profit initiatives like Saylor Academy cannot meet this demand alone. Partnerships such as those Saylor Academy already has in place can meet students’ needs while also meeting universities’ bottom lines, stretching public dollars invested in the workforce, and furthering the missions of non-profits.
  • The City of Alexandria has really great folks on the team.

In addition to prospective students, we connected with representatives from the various schools and organizatIons — including familiar faces and several of our direct credit transfer partners. (There is no better setting for our sales pitch to students than being able to look to either side of our table and tell a student, “those schools will give tuition-free credit for our Direct Credit courses”.)

Of course, we also lost no opportunity in pitching our upcoming Higher Education Summit to those behind the other tables!

Overall, the fair was another invigorating experience — it’s always wonderful to be able to shake hands, trade introductions, and talk about our college credit courses in real time and face to face. We are grateful to the City of Alexandria for their kind invitation and vote of confidence in Saylor Academy’s programs, as well as for putting on a really vibrant, positive event. We are especially grateful for the new students we met on Thursday, some of whom may be reading this post — thank you! We look forward to joining you on your path to a degree.


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