Educational institutions, trade associations, unions, and employers could use new technology and online models to offer workers non-degree credentials and ways to gain specific competencies. Some employers are already partnering with universities to offer online education benefits to their employees. Online or hybrid learning approaches can expand access to skill-building opportunities at a lower cost. This could help adults who are working, face transportation challenges, live far from training providers, or are balancing family responsibilities.
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)’s College for America (CfA) program partners with more than 120 companies, including large employers such asMcDonald’s, Aetna, Gap, and Dunkin' Donuts, to provide online degree and certificate programs to their employees. CfA is a competency-based educational institution, the first university in the nation to be approved for federal financial aid under the US Department of Education’s direct assessment provisions, independent of traditional credit hours.