The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Helping Business Fill Empty Classroom Seats

No one benefits from empty seats in a college classroom. A new online platform is being developed to provide a solution.

Anyone’s Learning Experience (ALEX), a company led by students from Harvard University, created a program that matches the educational needs of employers and their employees with excess capacity in classrooms. ALEX received $10,000 in funding from the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard to get the project off the ground.

ALEX works with businesses that already offer tuition assistance to their employees. The goal is to help employers reduce training costs while improving employee development and retention. The company is currently focused on Boston-area businesses, but plans to roll out the program to other cities.

“Many people are struggling to improve their education, companies need better-trained employees, and every year there are about two million unfilled U.S. classroom seats—there is a huge need and potential for the platform we’ve created,” Sergio Marrero, CEO of ALEX, said in a release for University Business. “Connecting working professionals without college training with available seats in classrooms is an effective and cost-effective way to help business thrive while improving the lives of millions of people.”

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