Distance Learning

Federal Office of Personnel Management Taps Excelsior College for Employee Ed

Excelsior College and the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) have partnered in an effort designed to make higher education more accessible and affordable to more than 1 million federal employees and their spouses or domestic partners.

"A national nonprofit leader in higher education for more than 40 years," according to information on the college's site, "Excelsior is an accredited institution that offers innovative distance learning programs that are specifically designed for working adults."

Through Excelsior College, federal employees will be able to earn associate's or bachelor's degrees using credits earned from other institutions, earn a graduate degree, develop specialized skills or earn a professional certificate.

"Professional development has taken on greater importance in recent years as all levels of government look to address the skills gap," said John Ebersole, president of Excelsior College, in a prepared statement. "By this agreement with Excelsior, federal employees will have access to a quality, affordable education. It will also assist agencies in addressing their current and future workforce needs."

The partnership is designed to address multiple efforts from OPM, including attracting new talent, supporting employee career development and addressing government-wide and agency-specific skills gaps.

"OPM continually works with federal agencies to ensure their employees are able to handle the very important work they do on behalf of the American people," said OPM Acting Director Beth F. Cobert, in a prepared statement. "With this agreement, we are helping them do just that, while also closing vital skills gaps to strengthen our workforce."

More information is available at excelsior.edu. The college will also host a series of webinars for federal employees interested in learning more about the partnership.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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