The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and Google have announced they will partner on a program in support of rural community colleges.
The Google Career Certificates – Rural Serving Community Hub will support up to 20 community colleges to integrate Google Career Certificates into their curriculum. The colleges can choose which certificates to offer, including IT support, data analytics, project management, user-experience design or digital marketing and e-commerce.
The certificates are designed by subject matter experts at Google, recommended for up to 12 college credits by the American Council on Education, and prepare learners for more than 1.5 million open jobs in high-demand, high-growth fields. The program’s employer consortium of more than 150 companies considers graduates for entry-level roles in the certificate fields. Certificate graduates also have access to a jobs board where these same employers post open roles.
“We are proud to partner with Google in response to the needs of rural community colleges,” said AACC President and CEO Walter Bumphus. “These programs will help provide pathways to careers in high-tech fields, many of which can be done remotely. Students benefit by having access to career pathways, colleges benefit from real-world, real-time curriculum, and businesses benefit by having a qualified talent pool that is free of location-based constraints. We hope that this pilot program will help to develop a model that can be scaled across the country and look forward to working with our partners at Google.”
The Hub program will identify the innovative rural colleges to develop a pilot project framework for rural-serving institutions to integrate the Google Career Certificates into various programs. The goal of the partnership is to help learners get high-growth, high-demand jobs without leaving their communities. For learners pursuing a degree, they will have the opportunity to get course credit for the certificates and apply learnings from the Google Career Certificates to real-life business situations, making curriculum easier to understand and demonstrating the relevance of content by examples.
AACC and Google will work together to advance strategies that increase the number of students enrolling in the five certificate fields that can lead to high-paying jobs, paying special attention to learners who are underrepresented in tech fields. They will also work to support colleges in building relationships with employers that recognize the Google credential as an entry point into the workforce.
In addition to the curriculum, professional development and business partnership support, participating colleges will receive an electronic badge signifying their commitment to innovative programs in support of student success. The program will begin this summer.
This article was originally posted in CC Daily.