(Photo by Flickr user Mark Plummer, used under a Creative Commons license)
A new online learning platform from Loyola University Maryland is launching with the aim of expanding educational opportunities in areas such as tech and business.
The platform, called Aspire, is looking to extend access to a Loyola education throughout Baltimore and beyond: Born out of a campus-wide innovation task force, its courses are open to the public.
For Loyola, it presents a new avenue to work with local businesses or organizations on workforce development, as well as reaching people looking to learn new skills, said Jack Rice, director of the university’s Center for Continuing Education.
For those looking to add business and tech skills, it is launching mini-courses in areas like cybersecurity, data analytics, marketing and management. The initial courses are also in areas such as human resources management, leadership, project management and sustainability.
“We conducted market research and felt that a wide range of courses tailored for people in the workforce needing to upskill, gain a new qualification, or re-certify made the most sense for the launch,” Rice said. “The executive education program in our Sellinger School of Business and Management was the most helpful in identifying target coursework based on feedback from local employees.”
The platform is structured to provide connections between those taking the courses and subject matter experts, as well as leaders and coaches. It also provides career resources.
“Each mini-course has a subject matter expert associated who can facilitate discussion and answer questions,” Rice said. “They are a mix of industry experts and existing Loyola faculty.”
The majority of course offerings range in price from $99 to $199, with all the offerings ranging from personal interest workshops starting at $20 to custom corporate training packages. The university also has plans to develop free courses for the community.
“Offering continuing education opportunities through the Aspire platform builds on our decades long work in professional development, and we hope it will create a significantly expanded, more accessible learning community for people with similar professional goals who are trying to better themselves, their careers, and their communities,” Rev. Brian F. Linnane, Loyola University Maryland’s president, said in a statement.
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