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Henry Woeltjen

TEDCRED 10+

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Employment Assistance Project

I wanted to gauge interest with this. I have an idea that may help people struggling to find work.

I want to create a website that provides certifications for people who cannot afford classes.

1. Certified Typist
2. Certified Retail Manager
3. Certified Financial Manager

What I want to do is utilize the resources currently available on the internet to provide the instruction.

My website would be used to certify people in those self-taught fields.

HOW?

We would use videos to certify students.

Typist Certification

We would certify people at different levels. 45wpm - 60wpm - 80wpm.

We would have the students send in video of them taking several typing tests available free online. We would designate what sites they would use and it would change to protect the validity of our certifications.

Certification in Retail Management

1. We would have students send in summary videos on the different aspects of retail management. We would conduct phone interviews to determine the aptitude and knowledge of the student. Different levels of this would exist as well.

A) Manager Trainee B) Manager C) Senior Manager

Not exactly what I would use, but this is just an example for discussion purposes.

What does everybody think? Is this something you would be interested in?

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    May 9 2013: Truly a practical idea worth sharing! As with any accreditation process the integrity depends on the administration. HR folks will not respond well to "diploma factory" credentials. Demonstrating academic integrity should be job one. Folks could hire with confidence once they believe certifications are truly experience based and graduates are assessed for competency.
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    R H 30+

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    May 7 2013: There are sites now to learn how to write code for computers that are free. In this field, as in many others, one doesn't necessarily need 'accreditation', just the ability to demonstrate competency. If your sites are free, then you would need to have some method of funding, such as advertising or gov't grants. I believe that these types of alternative education/training options are the wave of the future. If free social media sites can be hugely profitable, then I would agree that quality free online educational/training options can be viable.
  • May 7 2013: I think this would be a great use of technology and integrating its use to something valuable.

    For me, personally, I would not use it, only because it would not support me in my development and career. On the flip side, I would consider recommending it as useful for students or adults who this could benefit.
  • May 7 2013: What a great idea, Henry! I am all for it!
    I am in that boat - never finished uni but have developed a wide range of skills that, at the moment, aren't getting me anywhere because I am not certified.
    In Holland, you can apply for certification, which is a difficult and expensive procedure.
    Would you consider including culturally enriching professions in that list?
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    May 7 2013: Funding is always an issue. I build websites myself so that wouldn't cost me anything. I may be able to get a good amount of funding from donations, grants, and even investors.

    It sounds like a crazy idea for a few reasons.

    1. How will you pay for it?

    Well if I build the website that saves me a ton of money. Here is a ROUGH DRAFT of the program. Remember this is just an idea of mine. Your input definitely helps.

    2. Video Validation

    All tests and evaluations will be validated in online classes.

    Let's just say you sign up for your certification in Accounting. You would have to fill out a form that would look like this:

    q1. How many classroom training hours or credits have you completed in accounting?
    q2. Would you be ready to work as an accountant currently?
    q3. Are you comfortable handling finances for large businesses?
    q4. Are you a business owner?

    Just a brief questionnaire about what you think you know.

    3. Phone Interview
    This will then be followed by a phone interview. You will be asked questions about accounting and finance. The interview would cover all of the basic concepts.

    4. Video Testing
    You will log on and enter into a video chat session. The test facilitator will instruct the student that no text-books will be used. During the test you must have a personal web-cam.

    The web-cam must show that:
    A) You are not in reach of the computer keyboard.
    B) You do not have anybody else in the room helping you.
    C) You do not have any other pieces of paper on your desk besides the test sheet.

    The facilitator would then read the test questions out loud to you. You will write the question and then have 15 seconds to answer it. Any referencing of outside material will result in an immediate failing grade.
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      May 7 2013: It would be useful also to ask hiring managers how they would consider someone certified through such a program in comparison to someone with education and training from a college or a track record in the field.
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    May 7 2013: I think it's a decent idea. Although it would not be useful to me personally, I know of others who might be interested. How do you plan on financing it?
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    May 6 2013: Are there already pathways to become certified in these things?

    One thing you would have to look into is accreditation from a body that potential employers would trust to verify that when you certify someone, it has meaning the employer should accept. How does the employer know that your graduates know and can do what they would want a potential hire to know or be able to do?

    I think some community colleges may offer certificate programs in these areas.
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      May 6 2013: The difference between programs at colleges and this is my site would be completely free to use. I would obviously try to get volunteers to help people get certified.

      I'm not worried about validating the certifications. I have ways of doing that. Having people with good credentials serve on a board of directors would help a ton.