Apprenticeship As Degree Pathway
Career College Central summary:
The Obama administration formally launched a new consortium of colleges, employers and unions that is aimed at making it easier for students to turn their apprenticeship experience into academic credit. Colleges participating in the consortium must agree to provide academic credit to students who complete certain apprenticeship programs. The institutions pledge to follow the credit recommendations made by third-party evaluators, who translate the skills learned during an apprenticeship into credit hours.
Vice President Joe Biden announced the initiative in remarks to community college presidents gathered here for the annual conference of the American Association of Community Colleges. He said that apprenticeships and community colleges provided not only a pathway to the middle class for students but also a pipeline of well-trained employees for companies. The apprenticeship programs are particularly valuable, Biden said, because they allow students to “earn while they learn.” He said that electricians who participate in an approved apprenticeship, for example, could earn up to 60 credits.
The goal of the apprenticeship program, the administration said, is to scale up to the national level the thousands of existing agreements between a single college and regional employer or union to provide credit for apprenticeships. The American Council on Education and the National College Credit Recommendation Service are two third-party organizations that provide colleges with recommendations about how to translate apprenticeship experience into academic credit.
The evaluators compare the requirements of the apprenticeship program either to specific college courses or what would be covered in a semester of college, and make recommendations about how the apprenticeship experience translates into the traditional academic unit of credit hours.
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