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Champlain College Opens Discounted Online Courses To Federal Employees

Champlain College is offering discounted online programs under a new partnership with the federal government, officials announced today.

The partnership opens up truEd, Champlain’s subscription-based online courses, to civilian federal employees and their dependents.

Sydney Smith-Heimbrock, the chief learning officer at the federal Office of Personnel Management, said the partnership is the second such agreement in a federal program launched last year to help close skills gaps within the federal workforce.

One of Champlain’s biggest draws, she said, is cybersecurity training.

“Cybersecurity is the highest-risk occupation that OPM is partnering with the Chief Human Capital Officer to find innovative ways to make sure that we have people with the right skills to protect the government’s information infrastructure,” she said.

Smith-Heimbrock said skill sets involving science, engineering, technology and mathematics are also a priority for the government.

Champlain Vice President Jayson Boyers was in Washington, D.C. Monday for the announcement. He said the subscription-based model, in which students pay a monthly fee for access to courses instead of the traditional tuition model, means federal employees taking advantage of the program won’t have to pay heavily up front for their education.

Boyers also said the efficiency of online courses and the different level of support needed for adults as opposed to traditional undergraduates means the education is much cheaper too.

“It will allow them to get their degree for less than $12,000 or $13,000 for a bachelor's or master's degree,” he said of the federal employees, “and they can get an academic certificate within about a year for around $3,000.”

Champlain follows the University of Maryland University College, which partnered with OPM to launch a similar program last year.

Smith-Heimbrock said that more than 1,200 federal employees are enrolled through that program and the discounted tuition has yielded more than $750,000 in savings for those employees.

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