By Marni Baker-Stein, Chief Content Officer at Coursera
I’m excited to share that starting fall semester 2023, Empire State University (SUNY Empire) will accept credit for courses and credentials on Coursera with ACE Credit Recommendation. SUNY Empire has partnered with the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) and Coursera to create a degree pathway for New Yorkers in the NYSDOL program to transfer eligible credits from Coursera courses to any of SUNY Empire’s 125 bachelor’s and associate degree programs.
In the spring of 2020, New York State faced record high unemployment as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To help unemployed workers reskill for changing industry demands, NYSDOL provided free access to skills training on Coursera. To date, learners in the program have spent over 1.5 million hours learning online and completed more than 2.1 million lessons in growing fields, including business, technology, and data science.
At the heart of the program are entry-level Professional Certificates from top companies, such as Google, IBM, Salesforce, and SAS, designed to prepare those with no degree or prior work experience for in-demand digital careers, ranging from UX design and project management to cybersecurity and data analytics. According to a recent global Coursera survey, employers are 76% more likely to hire a candidate who has earned an industry micro-credential.
Learners are eligible to receive college credit (ranging from 1 to 18 credits) upon completing industry micro-credentials and Specializations on Coursera that have ACE Credit Recommendation. At SUNY Empire, tuition costs a fraction of what you would pay at private institutions, at $295 per credit for New York residents. This degree pathway saves learners time and money.
Perceptions around degree requirements tend to fall into two camps: “everybody needs a degree” or “nobody needs a degree.” But neither is true: higher education must become more flexible, affordable, and relevant to meet the changing expectations of students and changing workforce demands. By offering college credit for industry micro-credentials, learners have multiple pathways to gain employment, earn college credit, and pursue a degree. Collaboration between local higher education and workforce systems will be key to realizing that opportunity at the speed and scale our changing world now requires.
We’re proud to partner with SUNY Empire and NYSDOL to give New Yorkers multiple pathways to gain the knowledge, skills, and credentials they need to advance their education, enter new careers, and unlock economic opportunity.