The IDEALS Institute’s Workforce Development Wins Blackboard’s 2021 Catalyst Award

The IDEALS Institute’s Workforce Development Team won Blackboard’s 2021 Catalyst Award in the category of Student Success for its development and implementation of an online training program for a new, required Health and Safety course for the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). IDEALS’ creative program application is a highly effective online course that engages learners in interactive and impactful experiences to build knowledge and skills. It is designed to target the more than two million child care professionals who need learning presented in this manner. 

The program addresses the unique learning needs of child care professionals. About 60% of child care professionals do not have education beyond the high school level. They traditionally have not experienced success with formal education, yet they are expected to provide the critical educational foundation in children’s early years.

The Catalyst Award from Blackboard recognizes the importance of IDEALS’ ongoing work to meet the needs of early childhood professionals while instilling the critical knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary for them to improve outcomes for children and families.  

This work was made possible through a grant from the Maryland State Department of Education, and it is a result of the dedication and expertise at the IDEALS Institute. The award recipients include: 

  • Christine Alexander – Director of Workforce Development
  • Matt Schneider – Senior Instructional Designer, Workforce Development Team
  • Amy Haflett – Content Expert, Workforce Development Team
  • Shannon Williams – Training Manager, Workforce Development Team
  • Hanju Lee – Director of Communications Production
  • Kimberly Anderson – Lead Visual Designer, Communications Production Team


Transforming a required Basic Health and Safety training (video)

For more information, please visit the Blackboard 2021 Catalyst Awards Announcement webpage.