Coursera, the online learning platform and one of the pioneers of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), and the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream (MCAAD) announced today that they were launching a new, tuition-free training program, called the American Dream Academy, that would prepare graduates for careers in high-demand fields.
The new Academy will provide free online training and high-quality credentials that will prepare youth in underserved communities, underemployed workers and individuals without a college degree to enter high-growth digital jobs or begin working toward a college degree.
The Academy, which is open to US residents who have graduated from high school, is entirely on line and is designed to take about six months to complete. It’s expected to serve at least 200,000 students. The Academy’s program will emphasize three components.
Industry-recognized certificates; The following will be offered:
- IBM Cybersecurity Analyst
- Meta: Facebook Social Media Marketing
- Google Data Analytics
- Google IT Support
- Google Project Management
- Google UX
- Salesforce Sales Development Representative
- Salesforce Sales Operations
Students who complete the Google and IBM certificates will also be eligible to earn up to 10 to 12 college credits.
In addition, Western Governors University will allow those students who complete the program to transfer credits into a degree program and qualify for admissions into WGU’s Bachelor programs in the College of Business and College of Information Technology.
The University of North Texas will also allow those who complete certificates from Google and Meta to transfer credits into its Bachelors of Applied Arts and Sciences program.
Coursework focused on workplace skills including communication, critical thinking, and developing a growth mindset.
Several “wrap-around” support services, including:
- Webinars and virtual experiences to help enrollees build community and develop tools to succeed at work or continue education.
- Elective courses to help students build their professional networks, write resumes and cover letters, and prepare for job interviews.
- An American Dream Scholars Badge, certifying program completion.
- An “alumni” network of badge holders that will offer mentorship opportunities.
“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,” said Dr. Kerry Healey, President of MCAAD. “We encourage businesses across America to join us and coursera in expanding opportunities to underserved youth to ensure a skilled workforce for the future.”
“We are honored to partner with MCAAD to launch The American Dream Academy and enable 200,000 US workers to develop the skills and credentials needed to advance their education and enter high-growth digital careers,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO. “This type of institutional collaboration, offering training skills at no cost to underserved communities, will be critical to revitalizing the American Dream and building a more equitable workforce in the digital economy.”
To a press release announcing the Academy, the curriculum has been designed to align with several high demand fields, such as data analytics, IT support, project management, and user experience design, where there are an estimated 1.3 million open jobs across the US , with an average entry-level salary of $69,000.
“The American Dream Academy’s mission to support education skills, especially for underserved populations in the US, will help diversify our future workforce,” said Charles H. DeBow, III, Executive Director of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, in the release. “The National Black Chamber of Commerce is proud to partner on this nationwide initiative and create fantastic opportunities for economic mobility. We encourage our members and their businesses to utilize these scholarships and prepare our communities for the evolution of work.”
More information on the American Dream Academy can be found at www.theamericandreamacademy.org or email@example.com.