On June 18th, the University of Arizona announced that it would make some of its programming more affordable. It will be offering free or discounted resources for individuals interested in building on their education and training during the current difficult economic environment.
University of Arizona-affiliated Eller Executive Education, a nonprofit that provides non-degree, executive-level management and leadership training, is offering Leadership Readiness for Turbulent Times on a “pay what you can” basis. This program addresses making decisions during times of complexity and chaos, as well as how to communicate in a crisis and how to manage or motivate teams in an entirely virtual workplace, dominated by COVID-19.
Joe Carella, Assistant Dean for Eller Executive Education, says, “We listened to our community and realized that some needed help as they were either suffering financially, being furloughed or laid off, while others wanted to help support those who could not afford learning. Learning budgets are often the first thing to be cut during crises, and yet people need to continue to show that they are growing and spending time wisely.” He notes that the demand for the program has exceeded expectations, with over 1,000 participants from around the world, some of whom have voluntarily paid more for the program to help financially support others who could not pay as much.
With options for in-person gatherings limited by the coronavirus, many people are enrolling in massive open online courses (MOOCs), and some University of Arizona faculty members are offering not-for-credit courses for these learners. Christopher Impey, University Distinguished Professor of astronomy, has seen an uptick in enrollment for his Astronomy: Exploring Time and Space course, which now has 131,000 participants, with about 10,000 currently active. Impey comments, “People taking these courses are doing it with the purest of intentions. They’re not necessarily doing it to get a better job or to get a degree. They’re just doing it because they’re interested in the subject.”
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