News Briefs, April 26, 2019

April 26, 2019 | Volume 50, Number 9

Western Governors University (Salt Lake City) is offering a new online college readiness initiative to help aspiring students prepare for undergraduate degrees at WGU or other institutions. The WGU Academy will offer online courses in a competency-based format similar to WGU’s full online degrees. Students will be able to take two or more introductory-level college courses for a monthly fee, rather than committing to a full term of tuition. A typical student will spend three months completing the WGU Academy program at a cost of under $500. Enrollment will begin May 1.

Benetech (Palo Alto, CA), a nonprofit that promotes accessibility in learning materials and tools for people with disabilities, in April named Macmillan Learning (New York) as a provider of ebooks that are “born accessible” for learners with reading barriers. The certification applies to all books, including 2019 copyright ebooks, created using an updated Macmillan Learning process. Macmillan Learning is the first education solutions company to certified in Benetech’s Global Certified Accessible program. Books that are born accessible are developed to ensure that all students, no matter their ability, have the same access to information. Benetech established the program—a first for the publishing industry—to focus on accessibility certification. The program evaluates whether ebooks are designed to be accessible for learners with reading barriers such as blindness, low vision, dyslexia, or a physical disability.

K-12 professional learning provider Corwin (Los Angeles) in April released its professional learning community framework, PLC+: Better Decisions and Greater Impact by Design, a comprehensive method of engaging educators in a cycle of learning through inquiry. Central themes include high expectations, equity, and the activation of teachers’ learning. The framework is currently being beta-tested at participating districts across the country in anticipation of its full rollout in June 2019.

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