Udemy Raises $50 Million Series E to Grow Online Courses Worldwide

edsurge | February 19, 2020

Udemy, a provider of an online learning platform of more than 150,000 courses, has raised a $50 million Series E round of funding, claiming a $2 billion valuation. Benesse, an education and publishing provider in Japan that has been a content and localization partner of Udemy’s since 2015, made the investment. Founded in 2009, Udemy has grown to 50 million students learning from 57,000 instructors on its platform, which offers courses including programming, data science and leadership, according to a statement Wednesday. Other investors in Udemy include Stripes, Insight Venture Partners and Norwest Venture Partners. Udemy has raised more than $200 million in venture capital to date.

Spotlight

Arizonans know a teacher pay increase was included in the budget approved last week and that a bid to repeal the 2017 school voucher expansion failed.But what else will impact K-12 education funding for the next school year?The three main funding increases are an inflation adjustment to K-12 public schools’ per-pupil base formula funding, a teacher salary increase and a restoration of additional assistance for district and charter schools.

Spotlight

Arizonans know a teacher pay increase was included in the budget approved last week and that a bid to repeal the 2017 school voucher expansion failed.But what else will impact K-12 education funding for the next school year?The three main funding increases are an inflation adjustment to K-12 public schools’ per-pupil base formula funding, a teacher salary increase and a restoration of additional assistance for district and charter schools.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

Tutor.com Announces Partnership With StraighterLine: Collaboration Will Enhance Pathway providing online tutoring services for thousands of students

Tutor.com | November 10, 2021

Tutor.com, one of the world's largest online tutoring services, announced that StraighterLine, a pioneering online higher education course provider, has selected Tutor.com to provide online tutoring services for the thousands of students StraighterLine serves each year. Through the partnership, students gain 24/7 no-cost access to 1-to-1 expert tutoring and drop-off review services for StraighterLine courses. The goal: Help higher education students earn affordable college credits—and graduate from one of the 1,500+ colleges and universities that have accepted StraighterLine courses. The synergy of the two companies' missions—Tutor.com helps students persist and graduate; StraighterLine ensures they can earn college degrees affordably—promises to broaden access to higher education. Tutor.com, which has delivered more than 21 million tutoring sessions in its 21 years, has been shown in independent efficacy studies to increase student pass and persistence rates. StraighterLine, a pioneer in non-traditional pathways to college credit since 2008, has been shown to help colleges increase yield and persistence while helping students lower the cost and risk of starting a degree. "We have proven that higher education can be affordable for everyone," said Burck Smith, co-founder of StraighterLine and other education technology companies. "In partnering with Tutor.com, we want ensure that students have the resources they need to thrive in their courses so they can achieve their higher education goals." Many of StraighterLine's partner colleges are also partners of Tutor.com. For instance, StraighterLine partner American Public University System has been a partner of Tutor.com for nearly a decade. The mutual collaboration streamlines academic support for students. One APUS student who recently utilized the service wrote in a post-session survey: "Other sites give answers. This service gives a solution for working through to the answer." "We share an ethos with StraighterLine—we are both dedicated to meeting students where they are. At Tutor.com, we have built a resilient academic support model geared toward making higher education accessible for all students, and we are thrilled to partner with StraighterLine to deliver student-centered support." Sandi White, Senior Vice President, Institutional, Tutor.com The partnership also enables staff at StraighterLine to access real-time data and analytics through Tutor.com's Client Portal, a dashboard providing information about tutoring session activity. There, they can get actionable data to address curricular challenges and provide just-in-time support for students who need it—ensuring the momentum of the StraighterLine–Tutor.com student success cycle. About StraighterLine StraighterLine is a student success company and the category creator for providing scalable solutions to deliver affordable, effective and accelerated learning pathways to formal degree programs and widely recognized industry credentials. The StraighterLine platform supports over 40,000 new students a year, including directly through the straighterline.com website as well as through the company's growing network of university and employer relationships. About Tutor.com Since its incorporation in 2000, Tutor.com has delivered more than 21 million one-to-one online tutoring and homework help sessions to students. The company's more than 3,000 vetted and qualified tutors provide learning assistance that is available 24/7 in a wide variety of subjects. The company's mission is to instill hope, advance equity, and catalyze achievement in schools and communities. Tutor.com powers tutoring and homework help programs for the U.S. Department of Defense, Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Program, colleges and universities, K–12 school districts, state and local libraries, and companies offering employee benefit programs. Headquartered in New York City, Tutor.com is an affiliate of The Princeton Review, an education services company not affiliated with Princeton University.

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CONTINUING EDUCATION

UCHealth launches education program to make career advancement in health care more accessible

Guild Education | February 07, 2022

In a historically competitive labor market in which health care workers are facing tremendous challenges and record numbers of patients, UCHealth announced today the launch of the UCHealth Ascend Career Program, a new education and upskilling program. The program is offered in partnership with Guild Education, the nation’s leading education and upskilling platform, and it will provide growth opportunities for current UCHealth employees while attracting new employees interested in pursuing a career in health care. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts health care employment will grow 16% from 2020 to 2030 — much faster than the average for all occupations — adding an estimated 2.6 million new jobs in the next 10 years. In Colorado, the shortage of health care workers is especially serious as population growth needs and retiring workers far outpace the number of nurses and other health care staff members who are graduating from training programs and entering the workforce. “UCHealth is taking an innovative approach to improving health care labor challenges by providing exciting education benefits for both our current staff, as well as those who wants to enter the health care field,” said Elizabeth B. Concordia, president and CEO of UCHealth. “We know the cost of higher education and certification programs can be a barrier to career growth, and the Ascend Program will help extend those opportunities for all.” Within the Ascend Program, UCHealth will fully fund a selection of clinical certifications as well as foundational learning programs such as English language and college prep. UCHealth will also fund select degree programs in social work, behavioral health and other areas. These programs target critical staffing areas, and support for employees’ growth into these roles will help address the shortage of clinical health care workers. The Ascend Program will offer opportunity for career development to those interested in entering the health care field by reducing barriers, such as the financial means to earn a high school diploma, certifications or an advanced degree. A high school diploma or GED will no longer be required for applicants of certain roles because UCHealth will be able to fund this education once employees are hired. Eligible employees will have access to the program starting on day one of employment. “The Ascend Program supports UCHealth’s commitment to improving lives in the communities we serve by equipping our employees with skills needed to provide the very best patient care,” said David Mafe, UCHealth chief diversity officer. “The program supports social mobility, enabling diverse candidates to access sustainable jobs and support their families. Our goal is to make health care careers available to those who would not otherwise have considered them.” UCHealth is partnering with Guild Education to offer the program, which will include education coaches to help employees choose the programs and courses best for them. “The past two years have underscored how vital health care workers are to our society. As a Colorado headquartered company, all of us at Guild are honored to partner with UCHealth to launch this program and provided health care workers the pathways, skills and resources they need to care for our shared community.” Rachel Carlson, chief executive officer and co-founder of Guild Education The total investment from UCHealth in the program over the next several years is estimated to be up to $50 million. About UCHealth UCHealth is an innovative, nonprofit health system that delivers the highest quality medical care with an excellent patient experience. UCHealth includes 25,000 employees, 12 acute-care full-service hospitals and hundreds of physicians across Colorado, southern Wyoming and western Nebraska. With University of Colorado Hospital on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus as its academic anchor and the only adult academic medical center in the region, UCHealth is dedicated to providing unmatched patient care in the Rocky Mountain West. Offering more than 150 clinic locations, UCHealth pushes the boundaries of medicine, providing advanced treatments and clinical trials and improving health through innovation. About Guild Education Guild Education is on a mission to unlock opportunity for America’s workforce through education and upskilling. A certified B-Corp, founded to bridge the gap between education and employment for working adults in the U.S. in need of upskilling for the future of work, Guild’s industry-leading technology platform allows the nation’s largest employers — including Chipotle, Discover, Target, and The Walt Disney Company — to offer strategic education and upskilling to their employees. Guild connects workers to a learning marketplace of the nation’s best learning partners for working adults with tuition paid by the company. Guild’s payments and technology platform, curated learning marketplace, and advanced education and career services come together to help working adult learners advance in their education and career, debt-free.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

Macmillan Learning Launches Virtual Professional Development Series on Improving Student Engagement for Better Outcomes

Macmillan Learning | August 23, 2021

Macmillan Learning, a privately-held, family-owned education publishing and services company announced a new professional development series for educators to help support student engagement and success in college. The virtual “Engage Students to Achieve More” series is free for college faculty and administrators and will explore the techniques and technologies used to support active learning and student engagement in and outside the classroom, as well as timely lessons about effective teaching pedagogies gleaned during the pandemic. Student engagement continues to be an area of concern due to educators’ diminished ability to work one-on-one with students and the decreasing levels of student motivation and morale versus pre-pandemic. It ranked as instructors greatest challenge in 2020, up from their third greatest challenge just two years ago, according to Digital Promise. “While student engagement plays an important role in helping students in their coursework, its impact reaches far beyond the classroom,” said Charles Linsmeier, General Manager of Macmillan Learning. “In order to close COVID-19-related learning gaps, educators and student advocates are seeking new ways to best reestablish meaningful connections and timely interventions for deeper learning and engagement with their students. This is even more important with the variability and blending of synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning environments, which is the norm for many institutions for the foreseeable future.” Throughout the complimentary virtual professional development series, which begins in August and continues throughout the fall, participants will hear about student engagement practices and solutions informed by the experiences of instructors, students, and administrators during the pandemic. The series explores various strategies, methods, and techniques that help increase students’ attention, interest, curiosity, and positive emotional connections to their learning and college communities. About Macmillan Learning Macmillan Learning is a privately-held, family-owned company that improves lives through learning. By linking research to learning practice, we develop pioneering products and learning materials for students that are highly effective and drive improved outcomes.

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