“Benevolence to Empowerment: Who are Credentials Really For?”
Meena Naik is an advocate for actualizing a radical future centering a skills-first approach to economic mobility, and partners with organizations and education providers to support the implementation of best practices in skills-first learning and credentialing efforts and associated technologies with a person-first mindset.
She serves as the Director, Skills First Design as a part of the lifelong learning team at JFFLabs, the innovation arm of Jobs for the Future. Prior to her current efforts to promote dual transformation changes, bringing legacy systems and processes into the current reality while activity innovating and testing new opportunities, she served as the program director for Career Connect at the University of North Texas where she led the marketable skills credential effort and was the university’s comprehensive learner record architect. She has held roles at several other institutions—including UC San Diego, Abilene Christian University, and Skyline College—supporting faculty development, instructional design, student-facing academic support services, retention programs for systemically excluded and historically under-resourced students, and traditional student affairs programming.
Meena is currently a doctoral candidate Educational Psychology from University of North Texas with a research focus on personal agency in presenting personal identities despite the loss of power/marginalization. She holds a Master of Science degree in higher education administration and student affairs from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Science degree in physiology and neuroscience from UC San Diego .