2021 is full swing and with it, expectations for what lies ahead. There are exciting things on the horizon for Acuity Institute. I recently interviewed Chris Edwards, SVP at MindEdge, about their acquisition of Acuity Institute and the opportunities it will provide for Acuity Institute learners and partners.

What was attractive about Acuity for MindEdge?

MindEdge has always been about improving the way the world learns. We started in 1998, which was at the forefront of online learning, growth, and development. We’ve got a long history of working in a wide range of segments, starting with our work in higher education with some of the biggest names in online learning, to the present time with our professional development catalog encompassing 37 categories and 300+ courses that span the depth of what adult learners need.

The institutions we work with on the higher education side serve the non-traditional learner, the adult learner. The way we think about our courses, the way we think about collecting and coordinating the material that’s taught in those courses was developed with the adult learner in mind.

Fast forward to 2020–our eyes are always wide open for potential possibilities and partnerships. We want to join with folks who are similarly committed to improvement, high-quality outcomes, and growth in the online learning space, and we want to explore new formats. That’s where Acuity comes in.

For us, quality, mission, and expertise in your subject area are super important when you think about what can happen in terms of training engagements, hybrid learning, and blended learning. When we initially looked at Acuity, we saw not only a great opportunity but great existing expertise.

I’m hearing many common values that we share with MindEdge here at Acuity. We want to ensure that we are making the training that adult learners are looking for today in methods that fit their needs and their lifestyles. That is why, years ago, we developed blended virtual learning, realizing that we have to develop new ways to bring the learning TO the learner.

Let’s talk about what our customers can expect. First and foremost, they are going to continue to receive the same exceptional service they have come to expect.

Absolutely! We want Acuity to do as it’s always done and what we want to do is make new things available that customers can take advantage of; we want to provide upgrades and investments.

MindEdge has grown steadily for over 10 years. We continue to expand the catalog every year. We served 500,000 learners last year, which was an increase over the year before, so in the last two years, we’ve served a million learners.

And now Acuity has this great additional team of resources to back them up – full creative teams and in-house video production. We have so many new and exciting things to do under the Acuity banner so we can reach many more learners as well as provide new opportunities for existing customers.

Our catalog is aligned with the needs of adult learners. A few examples would be PDUs, SHRM credits, re-certification with HRCI. For learners who have advanced through Acuity’s levels, there will be new courses for continuing education. They’ll find a catalog that is built with credits and opportunities across a wide range of disciplines that will be of great value to them.

I think there’s an opportunity as well for corporate partners that are interested in expanding. Your corporate partners have built a relationship with a great organization that provides great service, and one of the things they will now be able to do is leverage the new catalog, such as creating custom bundles. We have over 38 certificates that already incorporate things like leadership and development, management, etc. that will be beneficial for them.

Department leaders can think more holistically about various aspects of lifelong learning for their departments through some of the specific topical aspects of the MindEdge catalog.

From an HR perspective, our partnership with HRCI, our ethics series, and the hot topics bundles are all the right things that HR professionals need to stay on top. Those topics are also very applicable to challenges that might be happening across an organization. The Women in Business Certificate is one that I specifically love that really details the environment for women in the business world and is suitable not only for women in business but everyone in business that is striving for diversity and inclusion. There are a lot of really interesting opportunities in the catalog that can be deployed.

Thank you, Chris, for sharing your insights. I am excited about the opportunities ahead!

Check out the catalog today.