- Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is partnering with Salesforce to give users of the software company's free online training platform, Trailhead, the opportunity to earn college credit.
- SNHU will evaluate Trailhead users' badges for credit when they apply for a degree program with the university. The three-credit modules will count as a major elective for certain information technology programs or as a free elective for other programs. Current SNHU students can also participate.
- Salesforce is one of a growing number of technology companies to partner with colleges to offer or validate curriculum that teaches students how to use their products.
Tech employers such as Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook are also partnering with colleges to teach students the skills they desire in their workers.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), for example, has teamed up with several community colleges to offer certificates and associate degrees in its cloud technology. That curriculum is now tied into a bachelor's degree with George Mason University, as well as into military training in data intelligence.
Facebook is also working with community colleges to offer students digital marketing training, expertise that is closely tied to the social media company's revenue model.
Community colleges' close relationships with area high schools, employers and four-year institutions make them "a flywheel for changing the face of education," Ken Eisner, director of worldwide education programs at AWS, told Education Dive last month.
Creating a ready talent pipeline is a recruiting strategy for tech employers, and it can help colleges keep their curriculum current for programs that serve students into rapidly changing industries.
"As tech changes at kind of an exponential rate, these partners make it possible to offer these types of courses," Martha Parham, senior vice president for public relations at the American Association of Community Colleges, told Education Dive last month.
Considerations for colleges entering such partnerships include how widespread the use of a specific vendor's platform is and how the knowledge and skills required to use it relate to specific job opportunities.