AI-Driven Learning: Empowering Students, Teachers, and Workers Alike

Dr. Rich Barnhouse - President of Waukesha County Technical College

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Dr. Rich Barnhouse is an education innovator. With experience leading higher education all over the U.S., he understands how to disrupt traditional models, create sustainable change, and embrace cutting-edge technologies that will empower students to be productive in the workforce.

We sat down with Rich to talk about some of his strategic initiatives as President of Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) - including how to harness the power artificial intelligence in education.

This episode is full of insights into the transformative potential of AI in the classroom, in the administrative office and in the workforce.

Inside this episode:

  • Education's innovation problem - and how to avoid crises of change
  • The biggest technology transformation humankind has ever seen
  • Two huge AI gaps in the workforce - and how education can fix it
  • Why companies need associates and baccalaureates with functional AI experience
  • How to harness AI to improve the teacher and student experience
  • The emerging specialty field in automation that offers huge opportunities for students

3 Big Takeaways from this episode:

  1. Automatic organic evolution: Because change can be hard to implement in higher education, the tendency is to stand still. This mindset has left higher ed in a crisis of change today. Instead, Rich has instilled a culture of automatic organic evolution at WCTC. It's part of the DNA of the college to consistently innovate how and what is taught - and that enables the college to move alongside industry.
  2. Companies are facing AI gaps in two key places: There is a middle level in business where data scientists and masters degreed engineers are developing and deploying AI. Above and below this level there are huge gaps in AI understanding and implementation. Education needs fill these gaps: first, bringing AI education to executives and managers to help them understand how to leverage the technology for business cases, and second, to bring AI experience to people on the shop floor who can become functional and operational experts.
  3.  AI is transforming higher education not just in the classroom, but at its operational core: With the right AI tools, instructors can automate administrative and operational tasks so they have more bandwidth to focus on students and teaching. In the same way, the administrative side of higher ed can leverage data to improve the student experience, which will attract a greater number of enrollees in future years.


To learn more about Waukesha County Technical College, visit:

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