As part of its Professional Development Program, The Saylor Foundation will build a series of at least twelve courses for a Workplace and Job Search skills curricula: Workplace Skills, Job Search and Career Development. These curricula cover a range of competencies, progressing from more basic job skills such as writing and basic computing abilities to skills directly related to finding a job to professional development training. The courses offered in the Workplace Skills and Job Search Skills Programs are intended to be tri-module workshops, with each module consisting of a one-hour session. The courses offered in the Career Development Program are intended to sustain 10 weeks of study, with each week representing a 3-hour commitment. As a part of this commitment, the Foundation intends to complete the entirety of its Workplace Skills and Job Search Skills courses and a selection of its Career Development courses, which emphasizes career development in specific professional areas, including office management, human resources, health information and medical records, and paralegal studies.
The Saylor Foundation will implement the commitment by contracting with professors and subject matter experts to develop quality and relevant course content. The courses will be offered in an online, asynchronous format under an open license allowing willing learners (as well as organizations working to reconnect individuals to an educational or workforce path) to access and utilize them free of charge. Once completed, the courses will live on Saylor.org as well as the Saylor Foundation's iTunes University channel.
The Saylor Foundation is an operating foundation and a respected advocate in the Open Education Movement. In the last two years, the Foundation has built 200+ college level courses with its consulting staff of 150+ credentialed professors and subject matter experts. The Foundation staff and consulting professors are open course design experts with significant experience in delivering open and accessible courseware.
The Saylor Foundation will convene a working group of subject matter experts by June 1, 2012.
The first set of five courses are anticipated to be deployed by October 31, 2012.
The second set of five courses are anticipated to be deployed by July 2013.
The final set of courses are anticipated to be deployed by June 1, 2014.
These courses will join Saylor.org's robust catalog of 200+ courses that already includes developmental mathematics and other subjects beneficial to the disconnected youth population.
Depending on subject matter expert availability, select courses could debut prior to these dates.
A recent America's Promise Alliance report indicates that over six million youth and young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 are not enrolled in school, are unemployed, and do not have a college degree. Leaving that situation unchanged imposes a heavy cost to those individuals, their families, and taxpayers.
However, a survey of young adults shows that a significant majority believes that getting a good education and securing a job is their own responsibility and depends on their own efforts. Further, a significant majority reported that they would participate in work skills courses and/or back-to-school classes to prepare for college. Thus, when given tools, information, and support, these individuals can be reconnected with an educational and/or occupational pathway.
This commitment will primarily target disconnected youth and adult learners who have fallen through the cracks of the education system, are in need of assistance in order to reconnect with an educational track, or are struggling to enter or rejoin the workforce. By committing to build a series of twelve skills-oriented courses, The Saylor Foundation will provide these students, as well as the organizations that service their additional needs, with a valuable tool designed to increase their marketability to employers and/or move forward on an educational path.