Coursera, a renowned online learning platform, has joined forces with Pearson to offer a new program aimed at high school students through the Pearson Connections Academy.
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- Pearson Connections Academy students can earn high school credit, an industry-recognized Professional Certificate, and college credit simultaneously.
- The program offers Professional Certificates authored by leading companies, and these certificates have ACE Credit Recommendation.
- According to a Coursera survey, 86% of U.S. employers value industry micro-credentials, stating that they enhance a candidate’s job application.
The program provides students with a “tri-credit” pathway, facilitating their transition into sought-after careers. By enrolling in this program, students will have the opportunity to earn high school credit, an industry-recognized Professional Certificate, and college credit through Acadeum.
“We’re making the college and career prep experience for high school students more meaningful with new learning opportunities that set them up for post-secondary success…This is about connecting students to their unique interests and giving them the support they need to be confident about their next steps.”Nik Osborne, SVP of Business Development at Pearson Virtual Schools.
An Array of Certificate Options
In the first phase, students at Connections Academy will have access to a range of entry-level Professional Certificates on Coursera. These certificates are created by top companies and industry experts and have been endorsed for college credit by ACE. The Professional Certificates available in this phase include:
- IT Support Professional Certificate from Google
- Digital Marketing & E-Commerce Professional Certificate from Google
- Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate from Meta
- Sales Ops Specialist Professional Certificate from Salesforce
These certificates are tailored for individuals with no prior degree or work experience, and they enable students to explore various career paths while acquiring the skills necessary to secure an entry-level position in the digital sector. Along with these educational certificates, some may also benefit from the best online tutoring services to enhance their understanding of specific subjects, ensuring that they are well-prepared for the demands of a career in the digital world.
Recent surveys by Coursera indicate the significance of micro-credentials in the job market. A staggering 86% of U.S. employers concur that earning an industry micro-credential bolsters a candidate’s job application. Additionally, 74% of employers believe that possessing such a credential enhances a candidate’s capacity to perform effectively in an entry-level role.
Building Flexible Pathways
There are divergent opinions regarding the necessity of college degrees. Some argue that everyone should have a degree, while others claim it’s unnecessary. This partnership between Coursera and Pearson aims to bridge this gap by offering more flexible, affordable, and relevant pathways for students. Through the tri-credit initiative, high school students are presented with manifold avenues to capitalize on opportunities in the digital economy, whether they choose to dive into a promising career immediately or continue to pursue a college degree.
This innovative approach aims to empower students, giving them the tools and knowledge they need to carve their own paths in an increasingly competitive and evolving job market.
Making College Credit Work for High School Students
High school students who engage in earning college credits are essentially getting a head start on their post-secondary education. In the “tri-credit” pathway offered by Coursera and Pearson, students have the advantage of earning credits that are recognized by Acadeum’s partner network, which comprises over 150 U.S. institutions offering bachelor’s degrees.
Typically, high school students can earn college credit through programs like Advanced Placement (AP), dual enrollment, or through initiatives like the tri-credit pathway. These credits can later be transferred to a college or university, often allowing students to skip introductory courses or even entire semesters. Not only does this provide students with the opportunity to explore advanced courses and topics sooner, but it can also be a cost-effective way to pursue higher education.
Students can save on tuition fees and reduce the time spent in college, thereby entering the workforce earlier. Additionally, the experience of taking college-level courses while still in high school can help students develop essential skills such as time management and critical thinking, which will be invaluable in their college years and beyond.
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