Can colleges find partnerships with alternative learning options?
- Nontraditional education options are growing in appeal, creating professional training options beyond the traditional four-year college experience.
- Students who take ‘gap-year’ breaks after high school, choose online education options or enroll in skills training bootcamps are receiving a head start on career choice and professional development, according to eCampus News.
- Schools like Harvard University are endorsing the alternative educational methods as a preliminary training that could complement future academic performance.
Colleges and universities that can create ways to partner with alternative learning opportunities have the chance to bolster recruitment, reduce costs and increase marketability for undergraduates and continuing students.
If students are choosing to take gap year breaks and opt for international travel, colleges can offer credit for language or cultural immersion in specific nations where the school may have existing exchange programs. For students choosing distance learning, some colleges may offer open source courses for introductory or remedial courses, with reduced rates for non-traditional students who may be looking to change careers or earn professional credentials.
For students opting for bootcamps, colleges can substitute earned certifications for degree credits in a parallel program, which saves students money and could encourage full-time enrollment.