As young learners continue to question if seeking education beyond high school is worth it, it is essential that higher education institutions take a closer look at meeting students where they are. High school students have jobs, some will be the first in their family to attend college, and some have personal commitments that will impact their ability to be a full-time student. In order to be able to accomplish meeting students where they are, several questions must be asked:

How do we know where students are?

What do we do, once we know?

Which strategies help us navigate systemic constraints?Obtained from inacol.org

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Ensure all learners have access to learning opportunities.

As a higher education professional and instructional designer, I believe that education is not confined by four walls. Rather than looking at learning from the traditional perspective, we must create online learning opportunities so people can get a degree regardless of their life circumstances.

One way to do this is a learner-centered approach. Creating learning that is flexible and individualized is key. Technology is part of everyday experiences for youth and young adults; however, studies show that just because they are familiar with technology does not mean they know how to use technology effectively. For example, using a cellphone to record videos and post to SnapChat, TikTok, or YouTube is a skill. Now, ask students to identify the best platform to share a video about their perspective on a certain topic. The student now has to assess each platform and identify the strength of each one and which one will provide the best output. Depending on the audience or perspective, each student in class will have a different platform chosen.With instructional design and augmented reality and virtual reality, educators can immerse students in experiences in a more cost effective way. Just because a student is not physically in the class, does not mean they should not experience a classroom learning environment.

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