Concordia Partners with Coursera for Professional Certificates

Students meet with the career and academic success advisor, Jolee Lilja (right), during Spring Breakaway program

Concordia students are now earning professional certificates for free through a partnership with the online education provider, Coursera for Campus.

“We are excited to provide this opportunity for students to get specific career-focused and externally recognized certificates in combination with a broad liberal arts education,” said Dr. Susan Larson, provost and dean of the college. “We think this will enhance the student experience and set graduates apart as they enter the workforce.”

A cohort of students took advantage of downtime during break in March and signed up for a special Spring Breakaway Community Learning Program. In addition to independent coursework, the students had daily in-person or virtual check-ins with a faculty facilitator who led group discussions, answered questions, and showed students how to best highlight certificates on their resumes.

Akissi Konan ’25 from New Bedford, Mass., was excited when she heard the partnership announcement. She signed up for the Google Project Management course, seeing the potential to support the degree in healthcare administration she’s pursuing.

Iyanu Lamina '25 (left) and Akissi Konan '25 (right) discuss what they're learning through Coursera. 

“It really helped me to see this is exactly what I want to do as a career,” Konan said. “I feel more comfortable because I can learn things now that I would otherwise be learning on the job. I can also use these skills as the program coordinator for the Black Student Union.”

Iyanu Lamina ’25 from Nigeria is studying computer science. She was already considering online certificates to give her an edge in a competitive field, so she was thankful she could take Google Data Analytics through the college for free.

“I think it’s a really good opportunity,” Lamina said. “I’m seeing what I’m learning in my classes on campus and can expand on really specific topics.”

Concordia employees are also able to use the Coursera program for free.

“We are pleased this platform can be part of professional development opportunities and contribute to meeting the goals of faculty, staff, and students,” Larson said.

The program is being run through Concordia’s Graduate & Continuing Studies office. Students and staff can learn more here.