Number of health care-related job openings in the
U.S. labor market over the next eight years.
Source: Georgetown University Center
on Education and the Workforce
careers online through the Career
The program will also allow potential
job seekers to identify experiential
credits that they might apply toward
future health care certifications or
“As part of the VCN initiative, the
American Council on Education (ACE)
will create easy-to-use tools to help
adults identify prior learning experiences that they might apply to a degree
program, and identify college programs
that recognize those learning experiences,” explains Mary Beth Lakin,
associate director of ACE’s Center for
Lifelong Learning and VCN partner
organization. Lakin says the platform
will allow “countless individuals seeking new paths to realize their education
and career goals—from entering or
advancing in the workforce to returning to the workplace or transitioning
from another career field.”
Open Source, Open Access
Built on an open-source architecture,
the VCN is accessible to students,
colleges, employers, and other stakeholders interested in expanding access
to health care careers.
All of the tools, assessments, user
interfaces, job information, remedial
coursework, and other resources are
available for use on other systems and
COREY MURRAY is managing editor of
Community College Journal.
In addition to the American Association
of Community Colleges, the primary
grant holder, the project has nine
partners. Their roles are as follows:
National Association of State
Workforce Agencies and DEA will
serve as the job source for the
platform and its connection to large
employers in the health care industry.
National Association of Workforce
Boards is conducting the asset
mapping, managing the Advisory
Committee, and reviewing identified
resources to identify any significant
gaps; it also has the lead on
marketing the platform and training
organizations to use the platform.
American Council on Education is
assisting in the design of the overall
assessment process, while particularly
focusing on that portion related to
evaluating prior learning for college
XPAND is the project’s partner
responsible for the technology—
designing, developing, building, and
operating the platform.
Ed2Go is an online learning developer
that will provide some of the remedial
education courses that will be offered
through the platform’s learning
iSEEK is assisting in the asset
mapping process, particularly in
regard to use of assessment tools; is
participating in the design of the user
interface; and will also conduct the
usability studies of the final prototype.
Jobs for the Future will develop and
provide user training and offer train-the-trainer webinars.
American Dental Education
Association operates the Explore
Healthcare Careers website, which
provides content to the Interim
Platform for use by Category II
grantees until the VCN is completed.
Advanced Distributed Learning is
coordinating access to government-financed online learning resources
related to health care.