Professional Learning to Support the Future of Higher Education

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Please enjoy part one of this three-part series from guest blogger Melissa Hortman, NCCE Professional Learning Specialist!  Be sure to check out parts two and three.

Let’s Talk about Professional Learning

Professional learning is a topic higher education wrestles with every year, especially after the last year we just went through. At a time like this, we all need:

  • Professional learning that is presented effectively and efficiently.
  • Relevant topics that interest faculty.

Professional learning can have a negative connotation on higher education campuses since it is viewed as another task to take time away from the many other demanding responsibilities.

You are not alone if you have ever thought:

  • Who has time to go to a training session on a new technology that the campus will change in a few years anyway?
  • Why invest my time in learning something when I can ride the wave?
Rethinking the way professional learning is presented is one of the most critical discussions in higher education. Share on X

NCCE Professional Learning Solutions

NCCE has reimagined how professional learning looks and feels for higher education with a myriad of layers for success. As you peel back the layers, you will see how each builds on the next while creating an innovative way to reach and teach those in higher education. With over 50 years of experience in ed-tech, NCCE created these layers from decades of building best practices with educators. NCCE makes professional learning for higher education engaging, inspiring, and applicable.

We are all on individual journeys and have unique use cases for the technology that we use. Share on X

Engagement in design and delivery of professional learning

NCCE has designed multiple ways to ensure engagement is core to the design and delivery of professional learning for higher education.

  • Engagement in session design: Live sessions are planned differently than traditional professional development. NCCE live sessions are carefully crafted alongside the individual institution to hit at the exact aim they need.
  • Engagement in live sessions: Topics are presented to the audience in an inspire, explore, reflect model where the emphasis is on the audience’s use cases.
  • Engagement in support: In addition to everything live, asynchronous support teams are put in place for institutions to continue exploring and reflecting stages with the daily support from NCCE.
  • Engagement in customization: NCCE works with each institution to build custom pathways for everyone to engage in professional learning in a way that reaches them at that specific institution.

Professional learning should inspire individuals to be curious and to play

There is a fine line when presenting a topic between showing too many details and only showing the end product. Many days we can find the how-to on the internet. Inspiration comes from understanding the work it takes to get to the result, wherever that may be for each individual. We are all on individual journeys and have unique use cases for the technology that we use. NCCE draws on educators leading educators in these conversations to have the same level of understanding to learn from our peers. It is so powerful to come to a meeting and have someone say, “I see you. I hear you. I am going through the same struggles.”

It is so powerful to come to a meeting and have someone say, I see you. I hear you. I am going through the same struggles. Share on X

Why does professional learning matter?

In more ways the one, professional learning can be the catalyst to accelerating transformation.

  • It can provide higher education with the opportunity to adapt and grow along with new technology that impacts their business and teaching models.
  • It can help bring value to institutional investments in technology that support their transformation.
  • It is a program for transformation, a curriculum for change, a discussion to inspire use cases.

NCCE delivers professional learning to support the future of higher education


Melissa Hortman
NCCE Professional Learning Specialist

I am passionate about innovation in delivery of education with and through technology. It is important to take risks and embrace both successes and failures to make the education of tomorrow better than today.

I am the Director of Instructional Technology at MUSC, and I specialize in educational technology consulting that includes but is not limited to technology integration and planning, strategic planning for online and blended learning technologies, digital accessibility, and instructional design. I also specialize in team science and the science of team science. I am a TeamSTEPPS Master trainer, which helps me work with teams through forming, storming, norming and performing.

I am highly qualified in school improvement efforts for higher education, specializing in online learning. I have a Master’s in professional counseling and a Bachelor’s in Architecture. I am a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert for 2020-2021.

Meet your professional learning needs with NCCE

NCCE works closely with schools and districts of any size, across the globe to provide relevant and rigorous professional learning experiences. see what our professional learning can do for you.



Continue to part two of this series.