A recent pilot program in a partnership with state colleges and the American Council on Education aims to help young workers pursue and education while also receiving on-the-job training. The Apprenticeship Pathways Project combines the apprenticeship model where people earn wages while they continue to learn the job and have created a program that turns that time into free college credit.
“For example, someone who completes a one-year apprenticeship with IBM in software engineering not only sets the foundation for a career at the company, but also will be able to earn up to 45 college credits for that experience, giving her about a three-semester head start on earning an associate or bachelor’s degree. “This really is a bridge that helps a candidate—a learner, an apprentice—achieve both outcomes,” says Kelli Jordan, director of IBM career, skills, and performance. “It keeps people’s options open and helps them continue to build skills whenever they want to over the course of their lifetime.”
Colleges will see benefits for joining these programs as institutions that participate in the program may see increased student enrollment as well as being able to translate college coursework into hard work skills. Some schools already committed to the program include Bismark State College, Excelsior College, Ivy Tech Community College, Rowan University, Tidewater Community College, and California State University at San Bernardino.