Three Takeaways from Impact 2019


“Never stop improving” is one of our key values at Trilogy Education, and that’s what this week was all about at our annual summit, Impact 2019.  For one day, we gathered with university leaders from across the globe to come up with ideas for how to improve our partnerships, our communities, and most importantly, the lives of students. Here are three key learnings from the day.

1: We’ve got something special here thanks to the power of the network.

Over 42 carefully selected top universities now partner with Trilogy Education to offer intensive, skills-based training programs in their communities. The power of that network was apparent last week with a roster of event speakers including Deans and Vice Provosts who are leading the conversation about the evolving role of higher ed from schools like Harvard Extension, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Washington, and UC Irvine Extension.

We heard again and again throughout the day about the value our partners gain from being part of that network. From sharing best practices to gaining internal support for innovative efforts, our partners help each other turn the impossible into possible. An afternoon brainstorming workshop surfaced dozens of ideas for how Trilogy can bolster this network, and we’re excited to get to work implementing them.

2: Universities have a vital role to play in uplifting their communities.

A highlight of the day was the fireside chat with Dr. Judith Rodin, Trilogy’s newest board member and the former president of the University of Pennsylvania and the Rockefeller Foundation. Dr. Rodin talked about why building programs that uplift a university’s local economy is not only an important sign of leadership but imperative for the futures of universities themselves.

“What will the role of a civically engaged university look like in the 21st century?” she asked, challenging us to think bigger and bolder. “The more global we become, the more the imperative to be a great local actor.”

Later on, Rob Bruce and David Vassar of the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University spoke to us about what measures they are taking to bring skills education to Houston, a city that experienced 57% growth in jobs that require coding skills last year alone.

3: “Students first” is our guiding principle that ensures growth leads to greater quality.

The theme of creating quality at scale came up throughout the day. Our Chief Academic Officer Ahmed Haque explained how we’ve used our learner analytics platform and nearly 3 million data points from weekly survey feedback to make over 650,000 curriculum enhancements. By doggedly collecting data since the very beginning across all of our university partners’ programs, we ensure that students benefit. We measure ourselves based on whether we did right by the student on everything from level of support and instructor engagement right down to admissions.

One of the major topics on everyone’s mind was the affordability of education. While the cost of programs across the Trilogy Education network are relatively low, we know that creating options for financing will open the doors to more people who stand to benefit from these programs. More people like Mohammed Wardeh, who joined us on stage at the end of the day to share his story of how the Rutgers University Coding Boot Camp helped him start a web development career after fleeing war in Syria.

We want to thank everyone who came to Impact 2019 and brought incredible energy and ideas for how we can improve together. Next year, we are moving the summit just a few miles down the California coast to San Diego. See you at Impact 2020!

Impact 2019 photo highlights below…

Dan Sommer, CEO and Founder of Trilogy Education, kicking off Impact 2019


Discussing the evolving role of universities: Huntington Lambert, Dean of Continuing Education at Harvard Extension, Gary Matkin, Dean of Continuing Education at UC Irvine Extension; Nora Lewis, Vice Dean for Professional and Liberal Education at the University of Pennsylvania; Rovy Branon, Vice Provost of the University of Washington Continuum College; Soulaymane Kachani, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning at Columbia University


Luyen Chou, Trilogy Education’s Chief Product Officer, giving partners a sneak peak of our product roadmap


Dr. Judith Rodin, Trilogy Education’s newest board member and former President of the University of Pennsylvania and the Rockefeller Foundation


Brian Amkraut, Executive Director, Siegal Lifelong Learning Program, Case Western Reserve University


Impact 2019 closing reception at the Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, California


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