The new endeavor adds college credit to the apprenticeship program

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The journey towards a career usually begins at a fork in the road. One path leads to job training. The other walks through college. They have different advantages and disadvantages, but both can look like single-lane roads यू U-turns are not allowed.

Now, a pilot partnership between colleges, companies and the American Council on Education aims to help people pursue both paths. Of Apprenticeship Route Project Takes apprenticeships – experiences that companies design that pay people to learn while working – and translate them into free college credit.

For example, anyone who completes a one-year rent practice in software engineering with IBM does not lay the foundation for a career in the company, but can earn up to 45 college credits for that experience, starting with a three-semester head associate or bachelor’s degree.

“It’s really a bridge that helps a candidate – a learner, a trainee – achieve both results,” says Kelly Jordan, IBM’s Director of Careers, Skills and Performance. “It keeps people’s options open and helps them build skills wherever they want for the rest of their lives.”

Apprenticeships have long been the mainstay of hiring people in skilled trades, but recently they have gained some momentum as a way to train people for office work, with high-demand information technology positions. Because employers pay for and pay for training, these opportunities are more affordable than job training programs for job seekers.

Yet while the skills and credentials required for good employment opportunities change over time, some workers who do not have a college degree find that having one would benefit them. Others want to get a diploma for personal reasons.

“Slowly but surely, individual workers are beginning to realize that, if they have to work in the next way because of their chosen path or life situation, they need to get their education documented,” said Louise Soares, head of education and innovation at the American Council on Education. Officer. “Finding how to manage it for more workers is part of our collective challenge.”

The federal government has begun to handle it. Many trainees are registered with the Department of Labor, which provides credit for these training programs through a registered trainee-college consortium in collaboration with higher education. Congress is considering a bill called Apprenticeship for College App Which will strengthen the network.

By the end of 2020, the American Council on Education launched its own effort with 1 million from the Coach Foundation. The council experienced the recruitment of college professors to translate military training into college-equivalent credits to design a similar review process for trainees. Credly, the council will keep track of the credits earned by the trainees through the digital badge platform.

For colleges, the benefits of participating in a pilot have increased the ability to attract and enroll students, Soares says. So far, six institutions have signed up to accept the Institutional Prentice Credit: Bismarck State College; Excelsior College; Ivy Tech Community College; Rowan University; Tidewater Community College; And California State University in San Bernardino.

In addition, the review process can benefit higher education as a whole, Soares adds, as it helps not only translate job training into college credits, but also translates college coursework into efficiency – the kind of information colleges can use. Case for the value of their degree.

“Colleges are redefining their role in the liquid market for education,” says Soares.

The companies and organizations that have participated in the pilot so far include T-Mobile, The Hartford Group and several trade unions. They train their trainees for jobs, including software engineers, insurance analysts, customer service representatives and electrical power linemen.

For companies like IBM, leaders say one of the benefits of the trainee is attracting workers of all ages and from a variety of education and career backgrounds. Jordan says the company’s nearly 1,000 trainees graduated by the end of 2021 include people between the ages of 18 and 60. In their categories: former teachers, firefighters and nail technicians.

Jordan says, “You’re really bringing a more diverse pipeline of candidates because you don’t assume you have a specific profile to suit your needs.” “If you don’t build technology with a diverse team, your product won’t meet the needs of a diverse world.”

Adding college credit to IBM Apprenticeship could help make the experience more attractive to more candidates, Jordan says.

“We know that a lot of people value that degree. We do the same, ”she says. “It opens the landscape for our trainees that they want to get a degree that they may not have felt before.”

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