edX | November 07, 2022
The University of California, Riverside Extension and edX, a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc., today announced a partnership to develop UCRX's first Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on the edX platform. The courses, featuring content in mental health, well-being and world languages, will be free-to-audit for edX learners.The five courses UCRX will be offering include a mental health and well-being course focused on the dynamic power of the brain, Arabic language for business, and English-Spanish language interpretation and translation. The three interpretation and translation courses will include concentrations in medical, legal and education settings.
"The launch of our first MOOC courses on edX introduces UCR University Extension's mission of preparing a new generation of innovative thinkers to become lifelong learners around the globe.We look forward to collaborating with the edX team to provide these affordable, accessible education opportunities."
Dr. Kevin J. Vaughn, Dean of University Extension and Professor of Anthropology at UCR
In addition to the new MOOCs, UCRX will continue to offer its boot camp programs in coding and cybersecurity in partnership with edX. Since launching in 2018, over 300 learners have graduated from UCRX's boot camp programs. Graduates have been hired by nearly 40 companies, including JP Morgan and Infosys. With this expansion of our partnership, UCR Extension is furthering its commitment to provide accessible and affordable education opportunities from a world-renowned university system, said Andrew Hermalyn, President of Partnerships at 2U. "MOOCs establish an accessible entry point for people to begin their learning journeys and discover complementary programs, from additional MOOCs to MicroMasters® programs, on the edX platform.
About University of California Riverside Extension
The University of California (UC) is the world's leading public research university system. UCR is one of ten UC campuses. Nine of the ten UC campuses have University Extensions, which are designated as the professional, continuing and online education division for the campuses. For more than 65 years, the mission of UCR Extension has been to provide professional development, academic advancement and personal achievement programs for international and domestic learners. Many of these programs ground their practical components in evidence-based research. UCR Extension offers a welcoming and diverse environment in which learners can advance their existing careers or embark on new ones, to continue in lifelong learning, or set and achieve new scholastic goals. UCR Extension provides academic programming for a variety of industries, including the fields of Education, Health and Wellness, Business and Management, Law and Criminal Justice, Engineering and Technology, and others. The organization currently offers 75+ certificates and academic pathway programs to 4,000 students and 7,000+ enrollments per year including international students from 45+ countries.
edX is the education movement for restless learners and a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc.Together with the majority of the world's top-ranked universities and industry-leading companies, we bring our community of over 45 million learners world-class education to support them at every stage of their lives and careers, from free courses to full degrees. And we're not stopping there — we're relentlessly pursuing our vision of a world where every learner can access education to unlock their potential, without the barriers of cost or location. Learn more at edX.org.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) | November 25, 2022
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has launched a new internship program for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to help bridge the opportunity gap for students of color—offering community development mentorship and experience that gives young people a leg up when entering the workforce. Over the next two years, LISC's National HBCU Talent Development program is placing 40 students in part-time intern positions with local LISC offices and other community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Interns will support a range of initiatives, from marketing to finance to community engagement, while also participating in leadership and national networking events. The program is funded by the Citi Foundation and is specifically designed to address national disparities in internships, with White students significantly more likely to gain paid versus unpaid positions than Black students. The LISC internship pays $25/hour up to $15,000 for the academic year. Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not," noted Denise Scott, LISC president, who held a virtual "fireside" chat with the initial cohort of interns last month. This program is part of our work to address systemic racial barriers that keep young people from gaining the experience and connections they need to compete for good jobs," she explained. "Through this program, students can earn a strong wage, gain hands-on experience, work with mentors and build a network of contacts and supporters all while supporting valuable community investment activity," she continued. "It's a win for all of us. At the outset, eight HBCUs are participating in the program, with young people from varied backgrounds and experiences applying to participate. Eryn Glover, for instance, is a sophomore marketing major at Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) in Charlotte, N.C., and one of LISC's first HBCU interns. She is working with the staff at LISC Charlotte to support fundraising, social media and community outreach, helping extend LISC's engagement with the region's philanthropic leaders and supporting valuable collaborations with local partners. I've always known that I wanted to do nonprofit work and put my skills to work to help people," said Glover, a South Jersey native who has spent recent summer breaks working at community-based organizations. She chose JCSU for her education because she wanted to attend an HBCU, benefit from a smaller university, and be close to family that had moved to North Carolina. I feel like I have opportunities here, like the LISC internship, that offer the chance to really get to know professors and mentors, and to also make a difference. I want to work in marketing within the nonprofit space, so this internship really aligns with that," she said. In Washington, D.C., Howard University senior Marsi Hailu is interning with the LISC policy team. Her early projects include mapping gaps in broadband access especially in rural communities and researching the disproportionate impact of climate events on low-income communities of color.I already knew that there is a lack of intergenerational wealth in Black and Brown communities because of historical discrimination," she said of her initial research. "But I guess I didn't realize how much that intersects with geography. It's a lot easier to recover from a disaster if you aren't already living paycheck to paycheck," she added. Hailu, a finance major from Northern Virginia, hopes to pursue a graduate degree in urban development after graduation, with a concentration in affordable housing. She said the LISC internship offers the opportunity to try her hand at different aspects of community development, going well beyond what she might learn in her finance classes. In a lot of places, housing is at the root of inequality," she said, explaining her passion for the work. "As someone who grew up in the area, I see the disparities facing low-income folks. I want to do something about that," she said. In addition to Howard and JCSU, initial HBCU supporters of the program include Edward Waters University (Florida), LeMoyne-Owen College (Tennessee), Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), Morehouse College (Georgia), Simmons College (Kentucky), and Virginia State University (Virginia). Additional HBCUs will be referring students in the months to come. LISC's Scott said the universities are eager to help students identify new opportunities for advancement—particularly given that many of the schools already have existing relationships with LISC, collaborating on local efforts related housing and economic development.
"Here at Johnson C. Smith University, we strive to graduate global citizens who develop a compelling sense of social and civic responsibility for leadership and service,. "LISC's internship program is an excellent way for JCSU students to put this possibility into perspective outside of the classroom. Just as we strive to develop a better world by graduating the best and brightest, LISC does the same by investing in its community to make economic equality a reality," he said.
JCSU President Clarence D. Armbrister
The National HBCU Talent Development program draws on the experience of LISC's nearly three decades of work with AmeriCorps, including the Economic Mobility Corps (EMC) launched in 2020. Through EMC, LISC places national service members in positions that help build the capacity of CDFIs. We have long seen the value in connecting people to community development positions in places that they know and care about," Scott said. "Our HBCU internship program takes that a step further, focusing on gaps in opportunity for students of color, injecting equity into CDFI recruitment efforts and building a community development workforce that reflects the people and places it serves.
LISC is one of the country's largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and places can thrive. Since our founding in 1979, LISC has invested $26.7 billion to create more than 463,000 affordable homes and apartments, develop 78.5 million square feet of retail, community and educational space and help tens of thousands of people find employment and improve their finances.
Penda Learning | November 16, 2022
Penda Learning, a Learning 2020 company, announced today that it has finalized an agreement with Scantron for the use of more than 14,500 assessment items in 11 assessment banks that span all science disciplines. These items will be used to expand the assessments currently available with Penda Science — a game-based science curriculum for grades 3–8, physical science, environmental science, and biology. — to include all NGSS performance expectations and state-specific science standards. Unlike traditional assessments, Penda Science interactive assessments challenge students to achieve high scores that earn them points to unlock virtual worlds, customize their avatars, and more. Teachers and administrators can use the line item analysis data to pinpoint learning gaps and personalize instruction within the Penda Science platform for small groups and individuals to help students achieve science mastery.
"This agreement will dramatically accelerate the development of comprehensive assessments within Penda Science. High-quality, validated assessments are critical for teachers to make informed decisions about instruction and intervention in order to support science learning success for all students. We are excited to be able to offer students a more interactive and engaging assessment experience and educators the reliable data they need."
Brad Baird, President/CEO of Learning 2020
The new assessment development is slated to be completed by April 2023. Assessments will be available for diagnostic, formative, and summative purposes. Also new to the Penda assessment suite will be a "quick check" assessment for teachers to use before, during, or after a unit to gauge student learning in order to plan or modify instruction to align with student knowledge.
About Learning 2020
Learning 2020, parent company to Penda Learning, is dedicated to identifying pressing, unfilled needs within the K-12 education market and developing technology solutions that solve these challenges in innovative and cost-effective ways that will positively impact teaching and learning. Formed in early 2019 by Brad Baird and Bill Tudor, experienced education technology entrepreneurs, Learning 2020's current focus is on ensuring all students have access to high-quality STEM instruction whether learning at home or in school.