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First Public College in Connecticut to Partner with Worldwide Content Provider; Online Students to Earn Key Industry Certifications as Part of Degree programs

New Britain, CT – March 18, 2024 — Charter Oak State College, (, Connecticut’s public online College, announced today it will be the first public college in state to partner with global online learning platform Coursera. Charter Oak State College will offer Career Academy on Coursera, giving students access to real-world job training from the world’s top companies including Google, Microsoft and IBM. Beginning this Fall, Charter Oak students enrolled in undergraduate technology focused degrees will have Coursera content integrated into their degree programs with the option to earn key industry Professional Certificates while studying for their degree. There is no additional fee to students.

Charter Oak State College President Ed Klonoski said of the partnership, “As a leading public online College dedicated to advancing the workforce it is critical that our students graduate with 21st century career-focused skill sets. Our partnership with Coursera supports this vision to intentionally infuse real world subject matter into today’s virtual collegiate classroom.”

Charter Oak Provost David Ferreira, Ed.D., agreed, “Partnering with Coursera Career Academy will build key certifications within our undergraduate degree programs beginning with Cyber Security and Software Development. This will allow our students to gain credentials quickly, while working toward completing their degree. Coursera’s Career Academy will also provide our Faculty access to a large body of content from case studies, to courses, to certificate programs that they can use to facilitate instruction.”

The Career Academy on Coursera includes more than 55 entry-level Professional Certificates from leading companies such as Google, AWS, and Salesforce. Examples of certificates that a student can earn include a Google IT Support Professional Certificate which will be included in a soon to launch B.S. in Software Development and a Google Cybersecurity certification as part of foundational coursework in the College’s B.S. Cyber Security program.

Students pursuing Coursera Career Academy Professional Certificates will experience virtual hands-on guided projects designed to teach real-world skills and help them build a portfolio of work which can then be presented to potential hiring managers. As with the College’s other courses students control their pace with asynchronous learning.

Ferreira added, “Our intention is to embed Coursera’s Career Academy content into other current and future programs including project management, marketing and data analytics.”

According to research by Coursera<>, 86 percent of college students strongly agree that a Professional Certificate will help them get a job. The report also found that U.S. employers viewed job candidates with credentials more favorably. Specifically, 92 percent of employers believe micro-credentials help a candidate stand out. In comparison, 85 percent of employers are more likely to hire a graduate who has a degree and a professional certificate.

“We are thrilled to partner with Charter Oak State College to prepare students to enter in-demand careers when they graduate,” said Kevin Mills, Vice President and General Manager Americas. “With Career Academy, every Charter Oak student can earn the skills and credentials needed to remain competitive and unlock opportunity in a fast-changing labor market.”

About Charter Oak State College

Charter Oak State College ( is Connecticut’s only dedicated, public, online college, offering associate and bachelor’s degrees in high-demand fields including Business, Health Care, Nursing, Social Work, Early Childhood Education, Criminal Justice and Cybersecurity. The College offers Master’s degrees in Organizational Leadership, Health Informatics and Health Care Administration. Charter Oak is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and governed by Connecticut’s Board of Regents for Higher Education.

About Coursera

Coursera was launched in 2012 by two Stanford Computer Science professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, with a mission to provide universal access to world-class learning. It is now one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, with 142 million registered learners as of December 31, 2023. Coursera partners with over 325 leading university and industry partners to offer a broad catalog of content and credentials, including courses, Specializations, Professional Certificates, Guided Projects, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Institutions around the world use Coursera to upskill and reskill their employees, citizens, and students in fields such as data science, technology, and business. Coursera became a Delaware public benefit corporation and a B Corp in February 2021.