SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PeopleGrove, higher education’s first and only Career Access Platform for career development and alumni engagement, today announced its acquisition of Student Opportunity Center (SOC), the leading service provider for Experiential Learning (EL), High-Impact Practices (HIPs), and EL/HIPs operational consulting services. The acquisition combines the market’s most advanced Career Access Platform with the nation’s premier experiential learning provider to create the first all-in-one career support framework purpose-built to revolutionize the way students and alumni achieve life-long career success.
“This acquisition is not only a significant milestone for PeopleGrove but for the entire higher-education industry,” said Adam Saven, CEO of PeopleGrove. “By joining forces with SOC, we are offering learners the keys they need to unlock the modern job market – experiential learning, access to social capital, career navigation via mentoring and alumni networks – all under one roof.“
Experiential education is a vital component of career access and a significant factor for universities’ strategic plans. The challenge universities face is tracking that experiential learning happens across campus. With SOC, PeopleGrove will expand the quantity and quality of High-Impact Practices while pairing these opportunities with the vital social capital college students and alumni need to get hired.
Studies show the clear impact experiential learning has on learners' outcomes. One Strada-Gallup survey showed that 59% of college students participating in quality experiential learning opportunities stated they were confident they would graduate with the knowledge and skills needed to find a good job. However, first-generation students, students of color, women, and other traditionally underserved groups are less likely to have access to and participate in these crucial experiential learning opportunities. PeopleGrove’s acquisition fills a significant gap in the job market and provides greater social capital access for all students.
Experiential learning ensures college students “learn by doing” through participation in real-world projects and first-hand experiences. Students participating in experiential learning opportunities report increased confidence they will succeed in the job market, higher personal income and greater career satisfaction, and a deeper belief that their education investment was worth the cost.
“The market is currently missing a holistic, equal opportunity solution that provides students with the ability to participate in experiential learning, and access to the critical social capital toolset to succeed in their job search,” said Chris Freire, CEO of SOC. “This presented a tremendous market opportunity to fill that gap and better prepare students to find the right career path for them.”
Upon the closing of the transaction, Freire will serve as Vice President of Experiential Learning at PeopleGrove. In this role, Freire will lead and oversee the company’s Experiential Learning products and services.
Through PeopleGrove, millions of college students and alumni have access to unmatched social capital-building opportunities and dedicated mentors eager to provide meaningful career support. With the addition of SOC’s innovative Experiential Learning and High-Impact Practices domain expertise, PeopleGrove now offers the most comprehensive and centralized Career Access Platform to its users, now including seamless access to real-world, experiential education pathways that will help students build the skills and connections they need to succeed.
"At a time when resources are stretched thin, SOC has been well positioned in the post-COVID environment to add value to the undergraduate experience by facilitating and scaling participation in HIPs and other experiential learning activities, on and off the campus," said Dr. George Kuh, SOC advisory board member, and leading authority on assessment, and improving the quality of the undergraduate experience. "With SOC and PeopleGrove coming together, what is especially exciting now is the unique capacity of the combined organization to assist institutions in the integration of experiential learning into the campus experience and documenting the efficacy of such activities to enhance the positive effects of the next generation of HIPs."
SOC combines technology with expert consulting services to help every campus achieve 100% participation in high-impact practices. This combination provides experiential learning opportunities and structures to embed experiential education in the curriculum, tools to connect students with opportunities, and the data infrastructure to analyze disaggregated participation and learning outcomes data.
“Students face a catch-22 in the modern job market – they are unable to land a job without critical experience but cannot gain experience without a job,” concluded Saven. “Adding SOC’s experiential learning capabilities to PeopleGrove’s Career Access solutions will supercharge career learning opportunities on our platforms and help learners ensure they see a rapid ROI on their degrees.”
For more details about PeopleGrove’s acquisition of Student Opportunity Center click here.
PeopleGrove’s mission is to ensure that every learner has the ability to successfully navigate to their next professional step in life. As the provider of higher education’s first and only Career Access Platform, PeopleGrove provides lifelong career learning, high-impact experiences, and social capital access for millions of students and alumni around the world. Founded in 2015, PeopleGrove works with over 450 institutions including Yale, Stanford, the University of Texas San Antonio, the University of Michigan, Georgetown, and the University of Maryland Global Campus. Recognized as an industry leader, PeopleGrove has been included on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies. To learn more about PeopleGrove, visit https://peoplegrove.com.
About Student Opportunity Center
SOC's mission is to provide quality experiential learning to every student so they are ready for a great life and career in the 21st century. SOC offers a suite of services and technologies to get every campus to 100% participation. Learn more at https://studentopportunitycenter.com/.