2024 Immersive Learning Conference: Exploring the role virtual reality plays in enhancing career counseling

More than 60 career coaches from community colleges across the state attended the 2024 Immersive Learning Conference last month to explore the benefits of using virtual reality (VR) tools to enhance career counseling for students.

people with VR headsets on sitting in chairs The conference was hosted by the North Carolina Community College System at the Caraway Conference Center in Sophia, NC, and supported by Perkins Leadership Funding. The System showcased its leadership in educational innovation by emphasizing the state’s commitment to integrating immersive learning technologies.  

Career coaches are placed in high school to assist students with determining their career goals and identifying educational pathways. Last year, North Carolina career coaches served more than 30,000 K-12 students. 

“The role of career coaches is crucial. As frontline advisors, they are key to developing the workforce by guiding students through career paths that are aligned with the evolving economic needs of North Carolina,” said Dr. Lane Freeman, Director of Online Learning at the North Carolina Community College System. “Through their efforts, community colleges continue to be pivotal in bridging the gap between education and career readiness, ensuring that students not only envision but are also equipped to thrive in their future careers.” 

person with VR set on head and someone else helping Attendees had a chance to explore VR in career advising, which is particularly effective in reaching high school students and adult learners in rural areas that lack traditional career exploration resources. By simulating real-world job experiences in fields like healthcare, technology, and construction, VR helps students visualize and aspire to future careers.  

“The System is dedicated to leveraging cutting-edge technologies to enhance educational outcomes and empower both students and educators, thus contributing significantly to the state’s economic vitality,” Freeman said. 

Among the presenters were Carolina Training Associates, TransfrVR, InspiritVR, and Mosaico DNA Solutions, all of which demonstrated the latest advancements in VR and AI educational tools. Additionally, representatives from Craven, Martin, Haywood, and Pamlico Community Colleges shared how they use 360-degree camera technologies to create homegrown simulations.  

“Attending the Immersive Learning Conference was an inspiring journey into the future of education, with a spotlight on augmented reality’s transformative potential,” said Andrew McKinney, NC Works Career Coach at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. “The presentation on the PRISM Neuroscience Survey stood out, showcasing the promising intersection of technology and cognitive science. I’m excited to witness how these innovations will revolutionize career exploration and learning experiences.” 
This was the third year the System hosted the Immersive Learning Conference. 

Share this page:
200 West Jones Street Raleigh, North Carolina 27603

(919) 807-7100