Posted on October 16, 2013 by United Front

Building Bridges with Career Pathways Courses

By Janet M. Paulovich

Virgina Tech Tower Sign

Photo Credit: Brooke Novak

Over the past year and a half, I have had the unique opportunity to work closely with a national team of educators and employers, along with a design team from Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative (OLI) and The Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), to develop an innovative online STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Readiness course in an open educational format. The course is designed to strengthen “key skills” for workers who are retraining in new STEM Careers, and it is meant to quickly refresh basic skills in math, critical thinking, workplace communication and professional skills. Our team was able to work closely with a number of employer partners to help us design the course modules as realistically as possible. Students taking the course practice dealing with a variety of problems and situations that they will encounter on the job. The STEM Readiness course is currently available on Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative website for anyone to use and would be appropriate for a wide variety of learners, not just those interested in STEM Careers.  READ MORE


Posted on October 11, 2013 by United Front

New Technologies: Preparing Adult Learners

By Jenifer Baker Vanek

adult learnersThose in our society who effectively use the Internet can successfully make use of online banking, social media, information-sharing and even fantastic learning opportunities in Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) where they can access knowledge previously available only to students at elite institutions. In contrast, though not adequately prepared to do so, low-skilled adults are often required to use Internet to accomplish important tasks, like applying for social services, immigration status documents, or for jobs. READ MORE