Upskilling with MOOCs for reinvention, reinvigoration

Nearly a decade ago I was one of 18 U.S. and foreign journalists awarded a John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University, a midcareer breather that allowed me to hang up the phone and pick up some books, The Seattle Times reports. Now I’m headed back to Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. — not for a year but for a few days. Fellows from every year since the fellowship began are returning to the intellectual thick of things. I’m not alone in taking the occasional trek into the classroom. Adult learners now make up nearly 40 percent of the college-going population, according to the American Council on Education. Many of them have a degree and are looking to learn new skills or enhance old ones. The migration back to school has coined a term: upskilling. Washington’s Legislature eased the path for local upskillers by sparing higher education from budget cuts this year. Lawmakers added extra money so two-year and four-year institutions could freeze tuition for next year.

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