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Pearson Tackles Workforce Readiness

Two companies are teaming up to deliver market research about job prospects and the curriculum that's needed to teach the required skill sets outlined in that research. Education company Pearson Learning Solutions has partnered with Monster Government Solutions, a division of Monster Worldwide, which runs online job site, to generate real-time labor data and analytics that can be used by schools to create course offerings and programs that match the occupations, skills, knowledge, certifications, work experience, and education levels employers are seeking.

At the same time Pearson is announcing the launch of multiple customizable online courses for use by colleges doing workforce training.

Products created by the two organizations include custom reports, research briefs, and on-demand research that tap into and extend local and state government-generated data. Private and career colleges will be able to order reports based on job opportunities in a given field and geography. Based on the data, Pearson will work with schools to develop curriculum or modify existing curriculum to reflect market demand. Currently, the companies said, 3.8 million students attend these types of institutions.

"Higher education leaders are facing many unique challenges and opportunities in this economy," said Don Kilburn, CEO of Pearson Learning Solutions. "Pearson's collaboration with Monster Government Solutions offers private sector and career colleges an innovative approach to meeting these issues head-on, with data they can use to implement effective programs that set their students on the path to career success."

Pearson has also introduced dozens of courses that colleges can quickly offer to address skills needed by specific local employers. That includes classes for project management, business and workplace skills, and healthcare, among other programs. The courses are intended to be used fully online or as part of a hybrid program that mixes in-class and online activities.

One college that will use the curriculum is Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, MA, which serves about 13,000 students a year. According to Kathleen Manning, dean of the Training & Education Center at the college, Pearson's curriculum "is both timely and designed for immediate application in the workplace--a key success factor for our corporate partners. The fact that these workforce development courses can be offered completely online or in a blended approach makes it easy for us to offer a variety of options to the industries looking to partner with us to meet their workforce development needs."

The company is also making available a collection of eight online courses to help instructors learn teaching techniques and methods applicable to working with online students.

"Local colleges are the anchors of communities across the United States," noted Leah Jewell, president of Health Science and Careers at Pearson. "They're often the first stop for displaced workers and those who want to enhance their skills and land a better job. Our courses are designed as a partnership to support these unique local needs with flexible, customizable learning options."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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