Charlotte partnering with Coursera, Grow with Google to offer innovative digital credentials

UNC Charlotte is partnering with online open course provider Coursera to offer students free access to Grow with Google career certificates. Certificate programs in digital marketing and ecommerce, IT support, data analytics, project management and UX design will be available to supplement coursework in academic programs as well as give Charlotte students a competitive workforce advantage.

According to research by Coursera, a majority of recently surveyed college students and new graduates nationwide say earning an industry micro-credential will help them stand out to employers. The research confirms that indeed U.S. employers increasingly regard college degree-earners who also hold available industry micro-credentials as stronger job candidates. Specifically, 86% of them agree that an industry micro-credential strengthens a candidate’s job application and 74% say one improves a candidate’s ability to perform in an entry-level position.

“Faculty may request access to Coursera’s 500 licenses for themselves and their students,” explained Bojan Cukic, interim dean of the College of Computing and Informatics. CCI is co-leading the digital credentials effort with the School of Professional Studies. “They will be able to preview content and determine whether to include a Grow with Google certificate within courses they teach or propose something new that aligns with industry-recognized credentials.”

UNC Charlotte is the only university in the UNC System and in North Carolina that is offering Coursera micro-credentials for its students. The initiative aligns with recommendations of the University’s strategic plan, Shaping What’s Next, to provide students with a competitive advantage to launch and build their careers.

“The micro-credentials developed by industry experts at Google extend the efforts of Charlotte faculty and staff as we work together to promote student success,” said Associate Provost Asher Haines.

The certificates are available via the Coursera platform. “Our entry-level professional certificates from Google prepare students, faculty and staff for the modern workforce,” said Scott Shireman, Coursera’s global head of campus. “It’s exciting to see innovative university and industry leaders come together to offer a learning experience that pairs academic knowledge with the practical skills needed to develop a career and succeed in a professional role.”