A workforce training initiative in Eastern Connecticut has become the first in the country to offer college credits for free online work-skills courses.
For six years, CT Works Careers Centers in Eastern Connecticut have offered their clients free three-month licenses to access over five thousand skills training courses via computer. The courses are concentrated either in IT skills or in health care certifications. John Beauregard of the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board says the service is already a success.
“It’s been tremendously popular. It’s probably the most popular service that we’ve offered in some time.”
Now the board has secured accreditation from the American Council on Education, and if trainees take a formal test at the end of their course, they will be able obtain college credits. Beauregard says as state and federal funding for classroom training in community colleges becomes tighter, online learning is cost-effective, and also able to reach more people.
“It’s flexible. You know, they’re able to do it on their time. With the constant demands on family life these days, and trying to find that spare time to be able to enhance your skills—it’s been a perfect fit.”
Trainees can extend licenses and work with local colleges to eventually advance to a four-year degree.