University Presidents, Trustees, Provosts and Employers Come Together for Six-Part Webinar Series on Bridging the Gap Between College Education and Workforce Readiness

Kaplan, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the Association of American Colleges and Universities Launch Public Dialogue on Preparing College Students for the Workforce

NEW YORK--()--The value of higher education is increasingly being questioned, with recent data showing that only 35% of college graduates feel school prepared them for the workforce. To address the issue, a formidable group of stakeholders is coming together to launch a public dialogue on the topic. This month, global educational services provider Kaplan, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) will kick off a six-part webinar series, “Work Readiness Revisited and Reimagined,” to explore the gap between college education and workforce readiness.

This unique collaboration brings together a coalition of university presidents, trustees, provosts and employers to explore the perceived gap in expectations of the role of higher education in preparing students for the global workforce. The first discussion, “Closing the Perceptions Gap Among Stakeholders on the Work Readiness of College Graduates,” will run on October 28, 2020, 2:00-3:00 pm ET and tackle the question of why only 13% of U.S. adults feel college graduates are prepared for the workforce, even as the vast majority of college provosts are confident that their schools are doing a good job.

Panelists will be:

  • Mary Papazian - President, San Jose State University
  • Lenore Rodicio - Executive Vice President and Provost, Miami Dade College
  • Gov. Jim Geringer - Chairman, Western Governors University Board of Trustees; Trustee, Complete College America; 30th Governor of Wyoming
  • Ron Parker - Trustee, Texas Christian University; former Senior Vice President, HR and Chief Global Diversity & Inclusion Officer, PepsiCo

“Confidence in higher education has declined, with a growing number of learners questioning whether it is worth the cost. Perhaps the biggest factor contributing to this is the perceived lack of work readiness among graduates,” said Brandon Busteed, President, University Partners and Global Head, Learn-Work Innovation, Kaplan. “There’s clearly a disconnect in perception that needs to be addressed, and bringing together key stakeholders for a sustained dialogue on this is critical.”

“Preparation for success in the global workforce of today and tomorrow requires an undergraduate education that is oriented beyond immediate postgraduation employment outcomes and that empowers graduates to move among jobs and even careers—including jobs and careers that do not yet exist,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. “We are delighted to partner with Kaplan and AGB to promote dialogue and clarify expectations among key stakeholders around this essential goal for all students.”

Henry Stoever, AGB president and CEO, anticipates that these conversations will yield important benefits. “Across the country, board members are working with institutional leaders to ensure that students are receiving more than just a degree to hang on the wall – that they are acquiring the knowledge and skills to succeed in the world after graduation. The data shows that many do not believe that is the case, and I hope that these discussions will address that sentiment. More importantly, I fully expect that as these conversations evolve, higher education leaders will not only communicate the value of higher education, but also emphasize institutional policies and practices that promote student success and productive achievements after college,” he said.

The webinar series will run every other month and feature panels of university presidents, trustees, provosts and chief human resources officers. Register here to reserve a spot for the first event.

About Kaplan

Kaplan, Inc. provides individuals, educational Institutions, and businesses a broad array of educational services, including higher and professional education, test preparation, language training, corporate and leadership training, and student recruitment, online enablement and other university support services. Across its 80-plus year history, first as a small test-prep pioneer and then an early online education leader and now a global education provider, Kaplan has been recognized for expanding educational access and using technology and learning science innovations to continually improve outcomes for its students and partners. With operations in nearly 30 countries, today Kaplan has relationships and partnerships with 2,000-plus universities, colleges, schools and school districts, and more than 4,000 corporations and businesses globally. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC). For more information, please visit

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises more than 1,200 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size. AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, and faculty members who are engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Its mission is to reinforce the collective commitment to liberal education and inclusive excellence at both the national and local levels, and to help individual institutions keep the quality of student learning at the core of their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

About AGB

The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) is the premier membership organization that strengthens higher education governing boards and the strategic roles they serve within their organizations. Through our vast library of resources, educational events, and consulting services, and with nearly 100 years of experience, we empower 40,000 AGB members from more than 2,000 institutions and foundations to navigate complex issues, implement leading practices, streamline operations, and govern with confidence. AGB is the trusted resource for board members, chief executives, and key administrators on higher education governance and leadership.

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)


Press: Carina Wong,, 646.467.2241

Release Summary

University presidents, trustees, provosts and employers come together to explore the gap between college education and workforce readiness.


Press: Carina Wong,, 646.467.2241