The rapid pace of technological innovations has created opportunities, but also made it difficult for higher education institutions to keep up with 21st Century workplace readiness skills for students. By the time students graduate from college and enter the workforce, many are lacking the skills and capabilities needed to be proficient in their job functions. These skill and capability gaps are even wider for global access learners, or online learners. Due to new entrants possessing skill and capability gaps, leaders in workforce development, typically housed in learning and development, talent management, or other human resources arm, have taken ownership of providing workplace learning opportunities to close the gaps and allow workers to reach their desired competency level. This qualitative study investigated the strategies and best practices employed by workforce development leaders who are implementing experiential learning opportunities for their global access learners. This phenomenological study investigated insights of 16 workforce development leaders using semi-structured interviews. The study was guided by research questions which focused on the strategies and best practices of workforce development leaders, challenges they face when leading experiential learning across the globe, ways in which they mature learning success outcomes, and recommendations for others seeking to employ learning opportunities for global access learners. The study revealed 35 key findings related to creating a learning culture and establishing a learning ecosystem which contribute toward the success of implementing global access experiential learning.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Workplace literacy; Computer-assisted instruction; Distance education; Occupational training

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Lani Fraizer