Scott Durand
Sr. VP & Exec Director. Workforce Partnerships Southern New Hampshire University
USA
Key Talking Points:

Traditional higher education has become disconnected from the workforce. The university to workforce pipeline has been broken. The problem is exacerbated by the speed at which jobs now change and the impending impact of AI and automation.

Employers are increasingly demanding universities provide more targeted solutions specific to jobs and skills. Employers also recognize the need for graduates who possess “soft skills” such as critical analysis, problem-solving, communication and the ability to work with increasingly diverse teams. Learners are seeking the quickest pathways to employment and relevance to keep pace with rapidly changing business needs.

SNHU launched the Workforce Partnerships initiative in 2017 to work directly with employers to meet industry needs today and the workforce of 2030 and beyond. SNHU’s 2030 vision is designing a higher education ecosystem responsive and aligned with workforce needs which can accept and accommodate learning from a greater variety of sources. Much of SNHU’s growth has been predicated on serving students who are entering the workforce, already employed and seeking growth opportunities or need new competencies/skills to stay relevant as jobs change.

SNHU partners with industry to meet their specific business goals such as; retention, differentiation in highly competitive employment environments and outcomes aimed at both employee personal growth and business bottom-line improvements. SNHU’s Workforce Partnerships team provides business with solutions to identify key requirements in recruiting, hiring and the development of existing workforce to meet current and future needs. SNHU’s breadth of offerings includes over 200 online degree programs and a unique program called College for America. SNHU leverages learnings from our massive consumer market and works directly with employers to understand unique industry challenges. Through partnerships, SNHU develops degree, certificate and short, stackable micro-credentials which target specific partner needs. SNHU understands learning happens both in the classroom and at work. We partner to bring non-traditional training/learning solutions to the market for academic credit. SNHU utilizes block chain and badging technology to allow partners and students access to share recognizable achievement tied to academic credit which can be stacked into longer learning solutions such as certificate and degree programs.

Key Areas for Panel Discussion/Questions

  • SNHU’s Competency-Based programs focus on soft skill development (College for America)
  • SNHU Sandbox: anticipating needs of 2030 and beyond
  • Micro-Credential, targeted, stackable, lower cost solutions
  • Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) at scale: developing pathways to academic credentials based on company training
  • Design and curation of academic solutions to meet specific business needs
  • Business partnerships informing university curriculum
  • CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) equals business needs


Examples of industry level partnerships:

  • Swift Trucking: Free education option for 20,000 truck drivers and their families to prepare for coming change with autonomous vehicles
  • Partners Healthcare: SNHU and Partners collaborated to build a Health Care certificate to meet the needs of 1000’s of Partners HealthCare’s non-clinical workforce
  • Anthem Insurance: Delivered a groundbreaking “free” solution called College for America to address Anthem’s retention and customer services needs
  • K12, Inc.: Developed a series of stackable micro-credentials to improve teacher and student outcomes and improve K12’s bottom-line results
  • MLS: Partner with Major League Soccer to develop a pathway for MLS to retain their best young players while allowing them to pursue a degree
  • Walgreens: Unique partnership to hire 5000 transitioning veterans into well-paying leadership jobs across the organization
  • Five Below: Developed a micro-credential to upskill team on key leadership traits
  • Udacity: partnership utilizing Nano-Degrees as embedded or standalone for-credit learning.
  • Berklee College of Music: developed specific music industry content aligned with business needs


Scott has been part of the SNHU fabric since 2002 as an employee and is a 1989 graduate of New Hampshire College earning a BS in Business Communications. Scott also holds an M.Ed. in Secondary Education from the University of Tennessee.

Scott has led a variety of teams and key initiatives at the university and is a member of the University Leadership Counsel reporting directly to the President. Scott has been a cornerstone leader and foundational member of the teams which have driven exponential growth for the university over the past 10 years.

Starting his career at SNHU as both a baseball coach and Graduate Academic Advisor, Scott led the University’s Graduate Admission, Advising and Enrollment Management team. Scott was responsible for the Global Campus Graduate Marketing team and was a key member of the leadership team responsible for taking SNHU’s online programs to a national audience.

More recently, Scott was Vice President of University’s Global Campus Marketing team responsible for the marketing and growth Global Campus online programs. Under his leadership the teams developed internal capabilities in digital, social media and national campaign marketing which have spurred SNHU to become the largest university in the country. Scott and his team in partnership with SNHU’s academic teams, developed and launched a wide range of new online programs and academic solutions which represent one of the largest suites of academic offerings in the nation and now serves over 130,000 students across the county.

Following the incredible success of SNHU’s Global Campus, Scott was tapped by the President in early 2017 to form and lead a new group at Southern New Hampshire University called Workforce Partnerships. The Workforce Partnerships team incorporates the College for America competency programs as well as over 200 Global Campus online programs. Workforce Partnerships focuses on large scale partnerships with employers nationwide and delivers academic and training solutions designed exclusively to meet workforce needs. SNHU’s Workforce Partnerships team provides business with solutions with measureable ROI and employees with pathways into higher education and the workforce of the future.

Scott is a firm believer education can positively impact individuals, organizations and communities and he is committed to bring SNHU’s solutions to key employer partners across the country.

Scott has prior experience in higher education working at two other universities prior to SNHU. He was also a small business owner and understands the impact education and partnerships can have on business growth. He is a former professional baseball player who currently has a passion for cycling and his family which includes four teenagers who fill his free time with both challenges and joy.