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CTDLC to Develop CT Education Academy for State Workforce

Today, the State of Connecticut, through the Strategic IT investment bond, has awarded the Department of Administrative Services Department of Administrative Services (DAS), Charter Oak State College and the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC) $1,870,000 in funding to support the creation of the CT Education Academy, a 21st century online learning ecosystem designed to provide scalable, cost-effective and measurable training to all employees of the State of Connecticut.

The Academy will offer a more flexible approach to state workforce training – offering online courses to supplement in-person, on ground instruction through DAS, and will address multiple State of Connecticut priorities including increasing employee efficiency and productivity.

Kevin Corcoran, Executive Director, Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium said, "By leveraging our existing IT technology and academic content, we will be able to provide significant savings to the state while providing a 21st century delivery vehicle for future training opportunities."

"Charter Oak plays a critical role in Connecticut's higher education landscape and workforce development," said Dr. Gregory Gray, President of the Board of Regents for Higher Education. "This partnership is an excellent way for the state to tap into Charter Oak's considerable resources and really use Connecticut's system of higher education to benefit the state as a whole."

Ed Klonoski, President of Charter Oak State College said, "Charter Oak currently provides online incumbent worker training to a number of businesses nationally. Educating adults is our specialty and we are excited to be leveraging that experience for our own state workforce."

Klonoski predicts that some training can be evaluated for college credit. "We expect that certain types of training will qualify for college credit through our Connecticut Credit Assessment Program (CCAP) making it a win-win for both the state and the individual employee."

The CT Education Academy will begin work to offer online training in Diversity, Workplace Violence, and Sexual Harassment which are required for all State employees. Other courses and programs will be developed over the five year initiative. A master administrative system will be implemented that willtrack, record and report required and completed training of employees. In addition to providing a cost-effective and robust training platform, the CT Education Academy leverages many of the distance learning technologies currently found at the CTDLC and Charter Oak State College, Connecticut's public online college.

Martin W. Anderson, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Administrative Services said, "The CT Education Academy will be a strong addition to the statewide network of initiatives already launched in support of technology innovation in our state, yet it will be differentiated because its major objective is to maximize training for state employees."

The CT Education Academy with its existing multi-agency partnerships will continue to solicit state agency partners in order to provide cost effective online, asynchronous training courses/programs to meet the individualized needs of each agency and state employee. These initiatives, which provide required employee training, micro skills training, and broad skills training will effectively "right size" training across the large number of state agencies and their employees to improve the quantity and quality of service to CT citizens.

This money was awarded through a competitive process which evaluated innovation, cost savings, effectiveness and project reach, and ties directly to Governor Malloy's priorities for innovation in state government. Anderson said, "We built the system to provide economical and robust access to the training that exists today but additionally, this new system builds a framework which allows new training to be authored and disseminated to agencies using the same engine."

Work on the CT Education Academy project will begin immediately with launch planned for Fall of 2014.

*** DAS was established in 1977 as the single agency in charge of providing administrative services to other state agencies. DAS's services enable the state to save money by taking advantage of economies of scale and streamlining services and processes. DAS has statutory authority in the areas of personnel recruitment; workforce development; workforce planning; fleet operations; state workers' compensation administration; procurement of goods and services; collection of monies due the state; surplus property distribution; contractor prequalification and supplier diversity; federal food distribution; consolidated human resources, payroll, fiscal and equal employment opportunity services for several smaller state agencies; printing, mail and courier services for state government; information technology services; the state building and fire codes; school construction financing; design and construction of state facilities; and state facilities leasing and management. *** Established in 1998 under the Board for State Academic Awards, the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (www.ctdlc.org) is a division of Charter Oak State College and a member of the Connecticut Board of Regents of Higher Education. By using collaborations, partnerships, and shared staffing and infrastructure, CTDLC is able to provide high quality services at a significant cost savings in the areas of learning systems support, online tutoring, instructional design, web development, and call center services. *** Founded in 1973, Charter Oak State College (www.CharterOak.edu) is Connecticut's only public online college, offering associate and bachelor's degree completion programs in high-demand fields including Health Information Management, Health Care Administration, Business, Public Safety and Information Systems. Charter Oak students complete degrees through online courses and alternative approaches to earning credit. Charter Oak is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and governed by Connecticut's Board of Regents for Higher Education. The College was recently ranked #1 in Connecticut for affordability among accredited colleges in-state offering online degree programs by AffordableCollegesOnline.org.

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