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edX and Jobs for the Future Offer Free MicroBachelors Programs

Learning platform edX and Jobs for the Future (JFF), with funding from the Charles Koch Foundation, have announced the no-cost edX MicroBachelors Program Pathway Initiative for adults who wish to earn a bachelor's degree through the MicroBachelors program. Enrolled learners will also be able to interview for jobs with companies that don't require a traditional degree.

Three MicroBachelor programs are currently available:

In 2020 edX began the MicroBachelors programs, offered by its partner companies and non-profit higher education institutions worldwide to adult learners without a traditional four-year degree. The programs are open-admission, credentialed, credit-backed, and provide a certificate of completion. Credentials gained can be applied to earning traditional full degrees at a learner's school of choice, the company said.

JFF will source and evaluate applicants for the program. The Charles Koch Foundation will fund the cost for 500 learners over three years, and will then provide resources to JFF to conduct a study measuring the program's effectiveness and efficiency of using the credentials in recruitment.

"The edX MicroBachelors Program Pathway Initiative is part of 'edX for Impact' — a collective effort to help marginalized learners get the education they need in order to develop the skills to pursue rewarding careers," said the company. "edX for Impact programs are typically funded by corporate, foundation, local, state, and government partners, and provided at no cost to learners."

The collective effort is also part of Access Partnerships, which brings together education and industry stakeholders to provide free or low cost access to tech skills training for women, people of color, lower-income professionals, and other groups.

Visit edX's MicroBachelors Program Pathway Initiative page to learn more.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.

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