Talent Development

Databricks Joins edX Partner Network with Launch of New Expert-led Program in Large Language Models

Databricks Joins edX Partner Network with Launch of New

edX, a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc., today announced a new partnership with global data and AI leader Databricks to launch a Large Language Models (LLMs) Professional Certificate program, the first of its kind on edX.org. This program is designed to equip developers, data scientists, and engineers with the applied knowledge and skills needed to understand the foundational technology behind recent advancements in artificial intelligence, such as OpenAI's ChatGPT and Databricks' Dolly. Through dynamic lectures, demos, and hands-on labs taught by industry leaders and renowned researchers—such as Matei Zaharia, co-founder and chief technologist at Databricks and computer science professor at Stanford University—students will learn how to develop and productionize LLM applications.

Comprising two courses, LLMs: Application through Production and LLMs: Foundation Models from the Ground Up, this Professional Certificate program provides a comprehensive overview of the latest frameworks, techniques, and foundation models used in the field of LLMs. By the end of the program, learners will have built their own end-to-end LLM workflows that are ready for production. These courses add to edX's catalog of more than 4,200 online learning experiences developed in partnership with the world's top universities and corporations, from free courses to full degrees.

"With the recent advancements in generative AI, there is an urgency for organizations to leverage LLMs in their own products and applications. This has led to an increased demand for professionals with necessary knowledge and skills related to language models," said Patrick Wendell, co-founder and VP of engineering at Databricks. "Our LLM-focused program taught by leading experts on the edX platform is an important step in meeting that demand while broadening access to the critical skills that professionals need to thrive in a rapidly changing environment."

According to Esmi Burning Glass, the number of U.S. job postings requiring AI skills will increase nearly 300% between 2022 and 2024, and a survey by Gartner found that over 50% of corporate leaders see AI as a priority to help them stay ahead of competitors. The new LLM Professional Certificate program from Databricks on edX will enable professionals around the world to build and productionize innovative solutions to natural language processing problems and help elevate their careers.

"The demand for professionals skilled in machine learning and AI will continue to grow as automation technology continues to advance at breakneck speed," said Andrew Hermalyn, president of partnerships at 2U, the parent company of edX. "edX is thrilled to partner with Databricks to help address the current market gap by equipping more learners around the world with the necessary skills to succeed in this fast-growing field."

Professional Certificate programs on edX are designed to build and enhance critical professional skills needed to succeed in today's most in-demand fields. Learners who complete the Databricks LLM Professional Certificate program will earn a program certificate that showcases their knowledge and skills, which they can include on their resumes.

The program is open for enrollment now for courses set to begin in Summer 2023. The Databricks LLM Professional Certificate program is free to try for all learners. Like edX, Databricks is committed to expanding access to education, especially in the highly relevant, in-demand field of AI.

About edX

edX is the global online learning platform that exists to help learners everywhere unlock their potential. edX was founded by Harvard and MIT in 2012 to make the world's best education available to everyone. Today, as a 2U, Inc. company (Nasdaq: TWOU), edX connects 76 million people worldwide with the skills, knowledge, and support to achieve their goals. Together with the world's leading universities and companies, edX offers thousands of free and open courses, professional certificates, boot camps, credit-bearing micro credentials, and undergraduate and graduate degrees.

About Databricks

Databricks is the data and AI company. More than 9,000 organizations worldwide—including Comcast, Condé Nast, and over 50% of the Fortune 500—rely on the Databricks Lakehouse Platform to unify their data, analytics, and AI. Databricks is headquartered in San Francisco with offices around the globe. Founded by the original creators of Apache Spark™, Delta Lake, and MLflow, Databricks is on a mission to help data teams solve the world's toughest problems.

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Online Education, Continuing Education

W. P. Carey School of Business, Televerde Foundation expand prison education program

PR Newswire | January 08, 2024

The ASU W. P. Carey School of Business and Televerde Foundation have worked alongside community partners to offer a unique PATHS program for women as they transition out of prison. PATHS, an acronym for Prepare, Achieve, and Transform for Healthy Success, teaches skills in personal wellness, workplace readiness, employment strategies, mentoring, financial literacy, and lifelong learning. The program begins while the women are still incarcerated and continues through their reentry and transition back into society. "We are thrilled to expand our partnership with the ASU W. P. Carey School of Business, further empowering women through education," said Michelle Cirocco, executive director of Televerde Foundation. "Our PATHS program goes beyond just providing skills; it's about transforming lives. This expansion marks a significant step toward reducing recidivism and opening new opportunities for women from all walks of life to rewrite their narratives. It also underscores our belief in education as a crucial driver of personal growth and societal advancement. We are committed to helping these women become positive role models in their communities and building a brighter, more secure future for themselves and their families." Julia LaRosa, clinical associate professor, and Kostas Voutsas, assistant teaching professor, from the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, are two members of the W. P. Carey community who teach in the program. They focus on workplace readiness skills through college-level business fundamentals, business communication, and professional development courses. As of fall 2023, women who complete the Career PATHS coursework earning a C or better have the opportunity to turn their completed work into college credit through ASU's Universal Learner program. The associated fees are currently covered by Televerde Foundation, with future iterations also being funded by the generosity of donors through the ASU Foundation. "Turning time in prison into a college education experience is truly inspiring," says Voutsas, who teaches the Effective Communication for Career Success class. "It is a practical course that empowers students to communicate as leaders, embrace diversity and inclusion, build positive relationships, and maximize efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace. It explores both verbal and nonverbal communication, cross-cultural communication, customer service, the writing process, writing mechanics, interviewing and resume techniques, as well as delivering presentations with confidence." Since the program's inception in 2020, the results have been truly remarkable. Of the 161 students who have completed the program, the recidivism rate is zero compared with the expected 40% to 60% rate. According to the Televerde Foundation, graduates' salaries are also 61% to 75% higher than their less prepared counterparts. While the quantitative outcomes are extraordinary, the qualitative impacts are equally important. Mary Montemorra, a PATHS graduate, explains, "Televerde Foundation and PATHS have given me the ability to fit into a community that once felt so far away. Remember, being sent to prison means the society you once were part of decided to remove you from its communities physically. PATHS gave that community back to me." One benefit of the Universal Learner program is the connection it helps non-traditional students form with ASU. "At W. P. Carey, we are prioritizing access in the communities we serve," says Raghu Santanam, senior associate dean for Executive Education, Corporate Partnerships, and Lifelong Learning. "Connecting PATHS to ASU as a for-credit course legitimizes the hard work these women are undertaking and makes it easier for them to transition into college in the future." Higher education is indeed more within reach for individuals involved in the justice system. As of July 1, 2023, the FAFSA Simplification Act provisions make PELL grants available to all qualified incarcerated people to further pursue post-secondary education through approved Prison Education Programs (PEPs). "A mere vision has blossomed into a sustainable program," says LaRosa. PATHS is "dedicated to aiding incarcerated women in reshaping the course of their lives and those of their families. Witnessing the transformative impact of a college education unfolding within our community is truly remarkable and the high point of my career."

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Education Technology, Talent Development

WiCyS Partners with N2K Networks for Pioneering Cyber Talent Study

PR Newswire | January 11, 2024

N2K Networks, a leader in strategic cyber workforce intelligence, is proud to announce its partnership with Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in cybersecurity. This collaboration will result in a comprehensive Cyber Talent Study that leverages skills data from the professional members of WiCyS, with an aim to deepen the collective understanding of cybersecurity competencies within the industry. A Commitment to Empowerment and Insight The study is designed to diagnose and analyze cybersecurity skills across the WiCyS professional member community, leveraging the advanced N2K NICE Workforce Diagnostic assessment. Under this initiative, N2K will provide WiCyS professional members complimentary access to the NICE Diagnostic, allowing them to assess their knowledge-area strengths and weaknesses aligned to the NICE Cybersecurity Workforce Framework. In addition to providing participants with personal insight into skills gaps and opportunities for professional development, the study will help identify commonalities in skills, potential gaps in knowledge and abilities, and other corollary findings that will provide strategic value to the entire cybersecurity industry. By delving into the talent landscape, the initiative seeks to illustrate and compare data in novel ways to establish an understanding of the alignment between member skill sets and the roles they actively occupy, as well as industry expectations of similar roles. "This partnership between N2K and WiCyS is the demonstration of our shared commitment to empower cybersecurity professionals through enhanced knowledge and understanding," said Simone Petrella, President of N2K Networks. "WiCyS brings a wealth of expertise and community building to the field, and by embracing the data-driven approaches we use at N2K, we can unlock hidden potentials, identify skill gaps, and illuminate the unique skills and talent that women bring to the forefront of cybersecurity." "What I value about this project is that we are providing a tool to deliver insight to our members on their career path and professional development," states Lynn Dohm, Executive Director of WiCyS. "By utilizing N2K's assessment, our members will be able to make informed choices about next steps in their employment path and which areas they need to focus on for growth advancement in their careers. Through data-driven programs like this, we can continue to contribute our efforts to overcome the critical cybersecurity workforce shortage." A Future Envisioned The partnership between N2K Networks and WiCyS marks a significant step forward in deepening our understanding of the capabilities of the cybersecurity workforce. By joining forces, both organizations affirm their dedication to creating a more informed, skilled, and resilient cyber landscape.

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Education Technology, Talent Development, Online Education

Bridge2Rwanda Extends Partnership with IXL to Support Students Developing English Language Skills

PR Newswire | January 30, 2024

IXL, the personalized learning platform used by 15 million students worldwide, has announced an extension of its partnership with Bridge2Rwanda (B2R), a nonprofit dedicated to creating global education opportunities for high-achieving African students. B2R educators will continue leveraging IXL's award-winning platform to deliver targeted English language arts (ELA) instruction, helping learners build and master literacy skills essential for securing university scholarships. In total, B2R has used IXL to support 500 students across eight different training programs since the partnership began. Despite encouraging improvements in literacy rates, limited access to resources and a nascent reading culture pose significant challenges to educational achievement in Rwanda. Recognizing the pivotal role education plays in enhancing socioeconomic outcomes, Bridge2Rwanda was established in 2007 to empower Rwandan high school students with high-quality reading and writing opportunities. B2R's ultimate goal is to build a thriving community of well-educated African leaders who will accelerate their nations' growth and improve the lives of others. B2R began using IXL Language Arts in 2019 to support the English language development of 30 high-achieving scholars from Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Burundi. In 2020, the nonprofit relied on IXL's all-inclusive platform to ensure that its English language learners (ELLs) developed essential ELA skills during distance learning. After two years of an impactful partnership, B2R made IXL an integral component of its new intensive English training and college preparatory program, Isomo Academy. The inaugural class of 120 Isomo Academy scholars quickly embraced IXL's tailored support, built-in instructional resources, and engaging learning opportunities. During the first week of Isomo Academy's eight-week training program, educators use IXL's adaptive assessment, the Real-Time Diagnostic, to pinpoint each student's English proficiency level, helping them understand individual strengths and areas for improvement. Based on these insights, the diagnostic then generates personalized skill recommendations to challenge and support learners at the right level. Additionally, B2R educators use the diagnostic to track student growth each week to ensure that students are progressing and mastering essential ELA concepts. Bridge2Rwanda educators also rely on IXL's comprehensive curriculum to help students build the skills that they need to become strong communicators. Each day at Isomo Academy, students take writing and reading classes that are paired with intensive language and communication seminars. Additionally, students work on IXL skills that align with their classroom lessons. The combined approach allows educators to engage students at their individual levels, assign homework, and differentiate learning beyond the school day. "IXL bursts bottlenecks for Bridge2Rwanda scholars by eliminating language barriers," said Luke Dreiling, Lead English Teacher, Bridge2Rwanda. "This enables them to excel in their studies, advance their careers, and contribute significantly to the growth of African communities." "Bridge2Rwanda's dedication to expanding educational opportunities for young African students is commendable. We are excited to continue equipping even more bright and ambitious learners with the tools they need to confidently pursue their dreams on a global scale," said Paul Mishkin, CEO of IXL Learning. "At IXL, we are committed to leveraging education as an instrument of empowerment to break down language barriers and ensure all students have the opportunity to thrive." IXL's impact on English language learners IXL Language Arts gives teachers a systematic way to troubleshoot each student's unique reading and writing roadblocks, and put them on the path to success: Among schools with a high percentage of ELLs, research demonstrates that those using IXL outperformed non-IXL schools on Smarter Balanced Assessments in ELA by as much as seven percentile points. IXL's comprehensive curriculum provides more than 2,400 adaptive skills that span early literacy, reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, and advanced concepts, such as persuasive writing. Each IXL skill is adaptive, ensuring that ELLs feel confident that they are perfectly challenged and supported at the right level when developing fluency. IXL's adaptive assessment, the Real-Time Diagnostic, pinpoints students' grade-level proficiency in key ELA strands, and generates targeted next steps to help students grow from where they are. As English language learners progress, these personalized recommendations stay up-to-date, ensuring that they always have a clear path toward mastering ELA concepts. As students learn and practice, IXL provides in-the-moment support and resources for self-remediation. For example, video tutorials guide learners through the building blocks of reading, writing, and grammar to provide additional support during learning and independent practice. If a student answers a problem incorrectly, IXL provides a step-by-step explanation of the right answer so that students can learn from their mistake and solidify their knowledge of that skill. Educators also rely on insights from IXL Analytics to track student progress, monitor readiness for exams, and differentiate instruction to fill knowledge gaps. Up-to-date reports help teachers uncover areas of challenge for each student and identify patterns in mistakes in order to provide targeted reteaching.

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Education Technology, Corporate Education and Training, Continuing Education

Elsmere Education Launches EPaaS: Powering Smart Growth in Higher Education with Streamlined Processes and ROI-Driven Strategies

PR Newswire | January 31, 2024

Elsmere Education, a leading force in online program enablement, announces the official launch of Education Process as a Service (EPaaS). This innovative ecosystem empowers universities to achieve smart growth in their online programs by streamlining operations, maximizing ROI, and catering to the unique needs of non-traditional students. EPaaS encompasses Elsmere Education's proven business processes tailored for an enriched student journey supported by dynamic communication strategies. Our solutions are powered by a curated technology ecosystem that includes omnichannel marketing capabilities and is designed to integrate with a wide range of existing campus systems. Built on Feedback, Designed for Growth The subscription-based model empowers universities to bring essential services in-house efficiently, leveraging a comprehensive suite of 40+ technologies through a single procurement process. EPaaS is intentionally designed to streamline and optimize the entire student lifecycle, specifically catering to the needs of non-traditional and online adult learners. Dan Janick, CEO of Elsmere Education, states: "EPaaS is a game-changer in terms of ROI. We've created a flexible, scalable solution that gives universities complete control and empowers internal teams to be more agile. It's the ultimate enablement model for driving efficiencies, increasing enrollment, and boosting student retention." Addressing Common Challenges Elsmere Education recognizes the challenges faced by university leaders in meeting the unique needs of non-traditional students and online adult learners. EPaaS addresses common challenges, including reliance on campus systems built for traditional students, lack of a CRM platform, and manual workflows hindering efficient student journey execution and monitoring. EPaaS Delivers Tangible Results 360-degree business intelligence: Make data-driven decisions for improved performance across the student lifecycle. Real-time marketing metrics: Optimize your marketing efforts and maximize enrollment yield. Increased staff productivity: Streamline processes and free up your team to focus on student success. Elsmere Education is your partner in online education success. Contact us today to learn how EPaaS can transform your institution.

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