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Online Skills Laboratory

Online Skills Laboratory

Community colleges are an essential enabler for a wide variety of learners to build the skills necessary for success in the workforce. They serve both college-age students, often those who are academically underprepared for or who lack the financial resources for a four-year college, and adult learners who need to prepare for new jobs or simply desire to continue learning. Both types of learners may be working one or more jobs while they attend school and have other adult responsibilities that make it difficult to attend physical classes on a set schedule.

A new federal program, the Online Skills Laboratory, intends to build a set of open resources for learning, with the help of teams of experts in content, pedagogy, and technology. These courses will be offered free of charge through a network of community colleges and will be openly available to adapt and share to meet the needs of individual teachers or learners. This resource will supplement the resources currently available in physical community college spaces and may become an alternative path to earning a degree. For learners who are raising a family or working a full-time job, this flexibility offers opportunities for learning that would otherwise not be available.

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