With schools and most workplaces shuttered during COVID-19, the University of Phoenix is offering free academics, online advice, career services and more to schools, educators, parents and the general public.
As an institution patterned around an online model for remote learners, the transition for students and faculty was fairly seamless. Now, the school wants to reach out to everyone else, University President Peter Cohen said in kicking off the new programs.
Free webinars and courses are available to anyone who needs them. From parents homeschooling for the first time, a high school needing help transitioning from classroom to online, to job seekers wanting career advice, the university is ramping up its free online offerings and support to help.
“One of the things we’ve been able to do well, since the majority of our students are online, is to pivot easily,” said Cooper Nelson, senior manager of public relations and communications. “So we’ve really taken this time to start initiatives to help other institutions and organizations who may not have support, and to just help people get through this very difficult time. Pandemics affect everybody.”
Free K-12 toolkit, support for educators, schools
One of the first things the university did was to offer support to K-12 schools needing help transitioning from classroom to online instruction during the coronavirus shutdown.
The university also opened up its continuing teacher education collection to K-12 educators.
Anyone can jump online and sign up for free courses on topics like Technology Survival for Educators, Using Apps in the Classroom, and Multimedia for Educators.
Free webinars for parents, employers, job seekers, stressed out
In addition, the University has started rolling out a series of bite-sized webinars, called Together we Soar, hosted by faculty and staff.
“The series offers insights about leadership from our faculty and employees. We’re trying to bring in alumni as well and business partners to share their insights on relevant topics,” Nelson said.
With a playlist that’s growing, the University is offering webinars on topics like how to homeschool K-12 students, how a business can handle customers in a crisis, and how to manage stress during this turbulent time.
Among the webinars currently available:
- How to keep your kids busy while at home
- How to talk to your kids about the virus
- Managing stress during turbulent times
- Parent + employee + teacher? Homeschooling tips to keep your K-5 kids on track
- Parent + employee + teacher? Homeschooling tips to keep your 6-12 kids on track
- K-12 Schools: How to convert from on-campus to online
“There is so much uncertainty in the world right now. We’re venturing into an unprecedented period of work-from-home policies, school closures and social distancing mandates, and the stress of coping with this situation on your own can be overwhelming,” said Ali Hemken, senior director of category marketing who helped lead the development of the webinar series. “We’re all doing what we can, but we need to get through this pandemic together. These webinars will help us all find our way forward.”
Photo courtesy of Joshua Lott/Bloomberg via Getty Images File.