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Universal Technical Institute Launches Blended Learning Development Initiative

| September 22, 2020

Company evolves operating strategy and educational model; hires nationally leader to direct recognized integrated, state-of the-industry training programs

As part of its wider growth and diversification strategy, Universal Technical Institute provider of transportation technician training, is evolving and enhancing its instructional and operational model to better serve the country’s need for skilled workers, capitalize on fast-growing interest in its educational programs and meet the changing needs of students and employers.

This learning model will blend UTI’s high-quality hands-on training with best of breed instructor-facilitated online instruction. The learning model will not only increase access for students but will also better prepare them to be life-long learners. Students will continue to receive the industry-aligned hands-on lab training UTI is known for and the blended delivery model will allow UTI to continue to optimize the physical footprint at each of its campuses.

“Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated our journey toward blended learning and, because today’s technicians perform many day-to-day tasks and continuing education courses online or on a digital device, this training model can give our students an even better and more relevant education experience,” said Jerome Grant, UTI’s Chief Executive Officer. “Now, we are focused on creating a truly transformational online and hands-on blended learning model that is difficult to replicate and gives students an excellent experience, the skills employers want and an education that sets them up for career success.”

To support the blended learning initiative, UTI has hired Dr. Jeff Bergin into the newly created role of Vice President, Learning Products and Experience.

“Jeff is the ideal leader to help us design and build an exceptional blended learning experience,” said Sherrell Smith, Executive Vice President, Campus Operations and Services. “In addition to more than 30 years of experience in the education sector, he’s highly regarded and nationally known for developing digital and hands-on programs that deliver strong student outcomes and business results.”

Bergin most recently served as Vice President, Professional Learning for Western Governors University. Prior to that, he was Vice President, Learning Research & Design for Macmillan Learning, where he led work to expedite the company’s digital transformation, and researched and designed a blended-learning platform that drove a significant increase in learner outcomes.  As Vice President, Learning & Experience Design for Pearson Education, he directed the rapid scaling of online courses and design of mobile, accessible, and cloud-based learning platforms based on learning science and best practices in pedagogy.

He holds a Ph.D. in Rhetoric, Composition, and Linguistics from Arizona State University, a Master of Arts in English from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Bergin has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on student success in online and blended learning. 

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