- The nonprofit MotherCoders is teaming up with Google to bring free tech training to mothers of all backgrounds in New York City through the city's Women.nyc initiative.
- The part-time, nine-week program is aimed at college-educated mothers with some work experience who want to re-enter the workforce, start a business or change careers. Onsite childcare is provided during the courses.
Adult learners like those MotherCoders supports are increasingly attractive to colleges looking to buoy enrollment by connecting their offerings to new students groups. Just how many adult learners are in college can be difficult to determine, according to The Hechinger Report, which notes that these students often leave school for periods of time to attend to other commitments.
Just as MotherCoders participants want to improve their career prospects by re-skilling, so do most prospective college students over the age of 25 when weighing whether to pursue a degree or certificate, according to a May 2018 report from the nonprofit Public Agenda research group. Because they often balance commitments such as families, jobs and expenses in addition to their education, features such as childcare and financial aid programs are draws for them.
Some colleges are actively reaching out to this group. For example, Maryville University, a nonprofit institution near St. Louis, offers resources on its website for caregivers returning to the workforce. Online degree programs also are targeting parents reentering the job market by offering flexible schedules and credentials tailored to career-knowledge needs. And private companies, too, are seeing the need to help caregivers re-skill in order to return to work, with some like Walmart developing their own programs.
Meanwhile, tech giants such as Google, Apple and Facebook are actively training potential future employees by developing curriculum for colleges to use and hosting standalone courses.
Google, for instance, launched an online IT certification earlier this year on Coursera that generated more than 40,000 enrollees and 1,200 completions in its first five months. It intends to prepare participants for entry-level roles in the IT field. More than 25 community colleges and Northeastern University are offering credit for the program.
Facebook created curriculum for community colleges on digital advertising and media training in the hopes of educating more small business owners on a key part of the social media company's business model. And more than 30 community colleges took up Apple's app development curriculum during the 2017-18 academic year.