The established partnership between Louisiana Tech University and Coursera has expanded to increase offerings to Louisiana Tech faculty and staff as well as faculty and staff in institutions within the University of Louisiana System (ULS).
The program already offered high school students and graduates in the Louisiana GEAR UP (LA GEAR UP) program to explore certificates and credentials through both Google and Coursera designed to make it easier to take the next steps toward academic and professional growth.
“Through our partnership with Coursera and Google, we are able to provide support and opportunity for learners at multiple levels,” said Dr. Terry McConathy, Louisiana Tech Provost. “We are able to leverage the resource to recruit future students, provide added value for current students, and supplement professional development for our colleagues across the UL System interested in critical needs areas such as UX Design and Data Analytics.”
ULS faculty and staff members will be able to enroll in Google and Coursera certificate courses beginning in the Winter Quarter of this academic year. This program is an extension of the ULS Bridging the Divide Professional Development Series available to system faculty and staff.
“Technology provides access to an overwhelming number of opportunities for personal and professional growth,” ULS President Jim Henderson said. “We value lifelong learning and this partnership with Coursera opens the door to high quality professional development opportunities for the faculty and staff across our nine member institutions.”
“We are thrilled about working with Google, Coursera, LA GEAR UP and the University of Louisiana System to bring industry certificates and educational resources to learners at the secondary and post-secondary levels,” said Dr. Lindsey Keith-Vincent, Associate Dean for Research, Outreach, and Innovation in Tech’s College of Education. “This initiative can transform how each student is able to learn, grow, succeed, and advance personally and professionally.”
Coursera recently conducted a survey of thousands of employers and students. Results of that survey said respondents believe earning an industry microcredential will help them stand out to employers and get a job after graduation.
“Seventy-four percent said that the inclusion of relevant microcredentials would influence their choice of a degree program at their university, with 66 percent reporting that the microcredential was their highest motivating factor,” said Scott Shireman, Coursera’s global head of campus.
LA GEAR UP is a college education access and preparation initiative administered by the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA), a program of the Louisiana Board of Regents. In partnership with 37 schools in 15 school districts across the state, Louisiana GEAR UP aims to increase the number of low-income students who succeed in post-secondary education.
“This partnership is designed to provide access and opportunity to those who want it as they plan their futures in a new and dynamic world of work,” said Dr. Don Schillinger, Dean of the College of Education.