Open Menu Close Menu

Workforce Readiness

Coursera, Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream Offer Tuition-Free Skills Training

Online learning platform Coursera and the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream (MCAAD), a think tank focused on advancing economic and social mobility for all, have partnered to launch The American Dream Academy, a new program that will provide free job skills training to up to 200,000 underserved learners in the United States. Its goal: "to lead the way in helping companies upskill Americans for the evolving world of work and to position learners for the improved job paths and increased earning potential they need to access their American Dreams," according to a news announcement.

"Our mission with this partnership is to give underemployed young Americans the opportunity to learn skills that will qualify them for higher-level employment, so they are better positioned to prosper and work toward their ultimate dreams. Simultaneously, the program will provide a steady stream of talent to companies that want to diversify their workforce and focus workforce training on skills for the future, not the past," explained Kerry Healey, president of MCAAD, in a statement. "We encourage businesses across America to join us and Coursera in expanding opportunities to underserved youth to ensure a skilled workforce for the future."

All Academy courses will be offered for free on the Coursera platform. Learners begin the program by assessing their strengths, defining their purpose and setting clear goals for the future. Coursework will focus on certification in in-demand technical skills (such as data analysis, IT support, cybersecurity, project management, sales operations and development, and digital social media marketing) as well as workplace skills like communication, critical thinking and developing a growth mindset. A number of the courses offered will be pre-approved for college credit.

In particular, learners will have access to entry-level certificate programs from companies such as Google and IBM (including the former's Google Career Certificates), many of which have received credit recommendations from the American Council of Education. Upon completion of those certificates, learners will be eligible to receive up to 12 college credits from participating colleges and universities in the U.S. — the equivalent of four college courses at the associate's degree level. In addition, they can earn guaranteed admission to many of Western Governors University's career-aligned bachelor's degree programs.

Those who complete the entire program will also earn an American Dream Scholars Badge. Successful participants will be encouraged to form an online community and provide a support network for one another and future learners.

"We are honored to partner with MCAAD to launch The American Dream Academy and enable 200,000 U.S. workers to develop the skills and credentials needed to advance their education and enter high-growth digital careers," commented Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO. "This type of institutional collaboration, offering skills training at no cost to underserved communities, will be critical to revitalizing the American Dream and building a more equitable workforce in the digital economy."

For more information, visit The American Dream Academy site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

comments powered by Disqus