Impacts and progress
Our goal is to build and enhance digital pathways that increase access to the extraordinary knowledge and community at Stanford. We are working to expand the Stanford community through projects with low-income high school students and working learners nationwide, with academic peers around the world, and, of course, with faculty, staff and students at Stanford. Use this page to get a snapshot of our current projects — what we aim to do, our progress toward those goals, and the internal and external partners who are helping bring our vision to life.
Explore our projects
Scroll down or use the links below to jump to specific projects.
- Academic Innovation for the Public Good book series
- Grow with Google professional development for community college faculty
- Lifelong Learning on the Stanford website
- National Education Equity Lab courses for high school students
- Stanford pandemic education report
- Working Learners Initiative for Stanford's current and potential employees
Jump to our strategic pillars.
Academic Innovation for the Public Good book series
Academic Innovation for the Public Good, a collaboration with Trinity College, is a series of author conversations held on Zoom that explore how to make higher education more equitable and accessible. Participating authors are interviewed by experts in their fields, and the events are free and open to all. The series is supported by 7 program partners and by 15 co-sponsors, all colleges and universities. Our goals with the conversation series are to foster discussion about higher education's obligations and potential to advance the public good; to give authors of new books about academic innovation a platform to share their work; and to offer a rich online community space where attendees can interact and explore series themes.
Launch date: The first year of the series launched in January 2022 with 10 author events; the 2023 series included 8 author events, with the series divided into two parts focused on belonging and knowledge sharing. We are transitioning to an academic calendar cycle and have three events planned in the winter and spring of 2024 Partners: Trinity College (co-organizer); more than 20 partnering and co-sponsoring colleges and universities. Project status: Underway. Strategic pillar: Catalyzing innovation.
In 2022, we held 10 author conversations, reaching 1793 registrants. The 2023 series, with 8 conversations, reached 1228 registrants.
Grow with Google professional development for community college faculty
We are collaborating with Grow with Google and the Bay Area Community College Consortium to support a program that gives community college students the opportunity to develop skills in data analytics and receive an industry-recognized Google Certificate. In June 2023, we offered professional development to community college and California State University faculty to support the integration of the data analytics certificates into their coursework, partnering with Women in Data Science, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Stanford Graduate School of Education, the Carpentries, and others. Our goals are to establish a professional learning community for participating faculty, provide them with techniques and strategies to support their learners, and establish a playbook of certificate implementation best practices that can be scaled to additional community colleges. (The playbook is slated to be published in spring 2024.) Faculty are experimenting with several avenues to offer the certificates: some are integrating the content into existing courses, while others are building out prospective courses which will go through the curriculum approval process at their institutions. The Stanford team continued to check in with these faculty throughout fall 2023 and plans to help identify internship and entry-level job opportunities for graduates of the certificate program. Three of the program participants used the material in courses in fall 2023, and more are expected to follow in 2024. All will be invited to share their feedback on how the professional development and our facilitation efforts have supported the process.
Read an October 2023 article about the collaboration.
Lifelong Learning on the Stanford website
The Lifelong Learning website project aims to highlight lifelong learning opportunities at Stanford and make it easier to find and sign up for them. We are working to add functionality to the site while building community, shared understanding, and a common frame of reference among the Stanford entities that provide lifelong learning.
Launch date: Phase 1: December 2022; Phase 2: aiming for September 2023. Partner: University Communications. Project status: Underway. Strategic pillar: Education outreach.
From the site's launch in December 2022 through mid-January 2024, it had 28K users from 185 countries. Visitors access it through the main Stanford Academics page, where it appears alongside undergraduate and graduate education.
National Education Equity Lab courses for high school students
We work with the National Education Equity Lab to offer Stanford courses nationwide to students in Title I high schools. Students earn both Stanford and high school credits. Stanford courses with the Ed Equity Lab provide a high-touch learning experience to students, with a remote Stanford teaching assistant for every participating high school. To develop these courses, we collaborate with high school teachers, leveraging their classroom expertise to shape Stanford course content for a high school student audience. Our goals are to introduce students in Title I high schools to Stanford coursework and the Stanford community, to give them college credit, to build confidence in college readiness, and to increase interest in applying to Stanford or other universities that may have seemed out of reach. For more detail, please see "Stanford courses for Title I high school students" on our website.
Launch date: September 2021. Partners: National Education Equity Lab. Project status: Underway. Strategic pillars: Education outreach, catalyzing innovation.
From our launch in fall 2021 through fall 2023, 72 schools participated in 18 states, plus Washington, D.C., and more than 1290 high school students enrolled in Stanford courses.
Stanford pandemic education report
Our pandemic education report, "Lessons from Teaching and Learning at Stanford During the COVID-19 Pandemic," reflects our year-long effort to synthesize and clarify that collective experience. We hope the report serves as the foundation on which the Stanford community can design its future digital education strategy.
Launch date: Launched October 2021; published October 2022. Partners: We interviewed 59 Stanford stakeholders, from deans and professors to students to support staff. Project status: Complete. Strategic pillar: Catalyzing innovation.
Our report provided a structured way to take stock of what we could learn from Stanford's response to the pandemic and to contribute to a national conversation about the effect of the pandemic on higher education. View the News page on our pandemic education report website to see articles on our report, as well as op eds and presentations from the report authors.
Support for student initiatives
Stanford Digital Education aims to provide forums and material support for certain projects that elicit Stanford students’ creativity and initiative. We are pleased to sponsor a student art exhibit and Stanford Spokes, a student group that bikes cross-country over the summer, presenting hands-on workshops for youth along the way.
Launch date: The current art exhibit, hosted in our building at 408 Panama, launched in May 2023. Stanford Spokes was formed in 2018, and we began supporting their planning and fundraising in spring 2023. Partners: The Center for Teaching and Learning (art exhibit); Stanford Spokes. Project status: Underway. Strategic pillar: Education outreach.
More than 50 people attended the May art opening, which featured work by six student artists. In summer 2023, the Spokes biked through 13 states, stopping in seven communities to offer workshops that ranged from “Building Bottle Rockets” to “How the Internet Works,” maintaining a detailed blog along the way.
Working Learners Initiative for Stanford's current and potential employees
Working learners are employed adults who do not have four-year college degrees. In January 2022, Stanford’s Office of Community Engagement formed a community of practice to discover how distributed efforts could be connected to meet the challenges of working learners at Stanford. Stanford Digital Education is part of the core leadership team for the Working Learners Initiative, alongside many other units. Our goal is to accelerate opportunity and mobility for our own employees, and then scale our efforts through regional and national partnerships.
In January 2023, Stanford Digital Education, working closely with University Human Resources Learning and Development, launched Coursera for Stanford, a new learning program to support the educational and professional growth of Stanford staff. We are also collaborating with the College of San Mateo to pilot an internship program for administrative associates — the Stanford Administrative Fellowship (StAF). Interns will shadow Stanford administrative staff to learn on-the-job skills while receiving course credit and mentoring from the College of San Mateo.
Read a December 2023 article about the Stanford Administrative Fellowship Program.
Launch date: January 2022. Partners: Stanford University Human Resources, Coursera, College of San Mateo. Project status: Underway. Strategic pillars: Education outreach, catalyzing innovation.
Three strategic pillars anchor our work
- Creating a team that is an engine for change: SDE will build an effective and nimble work team, focusing on what will be necessary for sustained success.
- Extending the reach of a Stanford education: SDE will create and help support more equitable systems of education by reaching out to learners beyond Stanford’s traditional borders, including precollegiate students and working learners. In doing so, SDE supports Stanford’s founding mission to serve the public good.
- Catalyzing innovation: SDE will leverage human and technological capabilities in new ways to support equitable education systems and access for more learners, by bringing together and promoting education innovators across Stanford and around the world.
We use these pillars to guide the development of our initiatives and to assess progress toward our goals.
“There is no question that Stanford has the human and technological capabilities to expand educational pathways. Our small team aims to be a catalyst for more mission-driven digital learning efforts at Stanford.”
Matthew Rascoff, Vice Provost for Digital Education