Online college for union members in the works

Underemployed and newly unemployed adults are hoping to bolster their resumes in the coming years, and the college’s class sections on Friday nights, Saturdays, and Sundays fit adults’ busy schedules.

(See “Campuses adjust to enrollment spikes.”)

Reynol Junco, an associate professor and technology researcher at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, said catering to nontraditional students who don’t have time to drive back and forth to a college campus would be a key step in making workers employable in a service economy.

“It’s important that they have the chance to have flexible educational experiences,” Junco said. “This is another way … people can become better prepared for the workforce of the next 50 years.”

Scheuerman said College for Working Families officials expect many students to attend their first academic classes in years—maybe decades—when the online program launches in the fall. Remedial training, he said, would be an important tool in helping union members earn their degrees.

“We don’t want to just take their money and say goodbye to them,” he said. “A lot of people are likely to be gun shy, and their skills may need a little work … but we’re not afraid to say that we’ll put the resources in to ensure students’ success.”


National Labor College

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