Dr. Tara Laughlin has spent her career helping youth and adults develop the skills needed for the future of work by leading the design and facilitation of personalized, competency-based learning experiences. She brings over 15 years of experience in education across K12, higher ed, and business to her work at the Lab. As an Education Designer focused on Micro-Credentialing, Tara is focused on solutions that increase access to opportunity by valuing the work and life experiences individuals bring to the table. She will also facilitate the design of next-generation skills assessments and contribute to the Lab’s 21st Century Skills Micro-credentials in the vsbl platform.
Prior to joining the Lab, Tara spent four years as Director of Curriculum and Training for edtech startup PAIRIN, leading the development of a comprehensive competency-based curriculum focused on soft/social-emotional skills. In this role, she also worked with clients across all sectors, particularly focused on upskilling historically underrepresented learners. Tara has also spent over a decade as an educator, teacher leader, and district administrator for school districts in Colorado and South Carolina. During this time, she built a strong foundation in curricular and instructional design across all levels of K-12 education and cultivated particular expertise in authentic assessment, backward design, and competency-based education.
Tara holds an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Innovation, for which she developed a framework for the systematic integration of soft skills into the K12 classroom. She also holds an M.Ed. in Divergent Learning, specializing in reaching learners whose needs are not met through traditional educational practices, as well as a B.S. in Elementary Education.