In the Press

Ad Astra and Emsi Team Up to Help Colleges and Universities Connect Real-Time Workforce Data to Course Scheduling

by Ad Astra

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Oct. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Ad Astra, the developer of popular scheduling solutions now used by over 500 colleges and universities, today announced a new partnership with labor market analytics company Emsi. The partnership provides labor market insights to Ad Astra institutions through its professional services, enabling campuses to inform course scheduling with labor market data. By informing course scheduling decisions with Emsi's labor market data, colleges and universities will have unprecedented capabilities to ensure that they are offering courses that prepare students for in-demand careers.

The new partnership builds on the results of a groundbreaking pilot within the Virginia Community College System, which gave colleges real-time insights into how in-demand labor market skills identified by Emsi's software aligned to course and degree offerings.

"This is about creating a direct link between the courses we offer and the demands of our local employers," said Sharon Morrisey, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Workforce Programs of the Virginia Community College System. "Now, we have the potential to integrate academic affairs with workforce development in ways that enable institutions to align academic pathways with in-demand career pathways."

"Too often, higher education institutions must rely on historical data as they create schedules and pathways to help students achieve their educational and subsequent career goals," said John Barnshaw, Vice President of Research and Data Science at Ad Astra. "This collaboration changes that, making it possible for institutions to more easily use real-time information they need to provide better pathways and guidance. The schedule can now be used as a tool to improve not just graduation rates, but also workforce outcomes."

By adding labor market information to Ad Astra's data points, institutions can better track in real-time how students are progressing on their academic plan toward completion and improve their strategies for assisting students in terms of career readiness.

"Applying our labor market data to course scheduling is an innovative approach to positively impacting student success," said Rob Sentz, Emsi's Chief Innovation Officer. "Making it easier to put labor market data at the point of decision is at the heart of this partnership."

Through the pilot, John Tyler Community College, located near Richmond, Virginia, received real-time insights on how in-demand courses aligned with needs in the local labor market. Program administrators were able to see where there might be opportunities to improve course offerings. 

"By better understanding current and future workforce data, we can create a better-sequenced pathway that meets expected employer demand," said Bill Fiege, Vice President of Learning and Student Success at John Tyler Community College. "This new collaboration allows our college to create career pathways that truly align courses and skills with the expected future jobs, while also forming better scheduling pathways that graduate more students on-time."

About Ad Astra
Ad Astra, the industry leader in higher education scheduling software solutions, partners with more than 500 colleges, universities, and systems worldwide. Based in Overland Park, Kansas, Ad Astra offers data-informed software and professional services that help institutions effectively allocate space and faculty resources, forecast student demand, and accelerate student completions. The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company currently holds a United States patent for its innovative method of determining student demand for academic courses. Academic institutions that partner with Ad Astra experience improved stewardship of instructional resources, streamlined student access to courses, and accelerated student completions. Ad Astra was the 2018 recipient of the Complete College of America Seal of Approval for Structure. Learn more at and follow us @AdAstraIS or on LinkedIn.  

About Emsi
Emsi, a labor market analytics company, uses its comprehensive sets of labor market data to help colleges and universities align academic programs with the labor market, communicate career and educational opportunities to students, measure institutional and program-level outcomes, and relate alumni employment outcomes to prospective students. Between its Analyst, Career Coach, and Alumni Outcomes software, API services, and its professional services team of economists, Emsi has worked with more than half of the community colleges in the United States, hundreds of leading universities, professional consultancies, and ed tech companies. While based in Moscow, Idaho, Emsi also has offices in Dallas, Texas, and the United Kingdom. Emsi is owned by the Strada Education Network. Learn more at and follow us @desktopecon or on LinkedIn.

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