The United Service Organizations (USO) and Coursera – one of the world’s leading online learning platforms – recently announced a specially designed course to help active-duty, Reserve, and National Guard members navigate the challenges of transitioning from military to civilian life.
“Making Your Military Transition a Transformation” is a free eight-week course taught by Cory Boatwright, an Air Force veteran and military transition expert, who offers actionable steps for building meaningful careers. This professional development opportunity combines Coursera’s robust online learning resources, the USO’s 80 years of military support experience, and Boatwright’s personal experience and expertise to ensure that participants can succeed regardless of where or when they begin planning for post-military life.
As part of the USO Pathfinder® Transition Program, “Making Your Military Transition a Transformation” will supplement existing career services such as the USO Mentorship offering and Professional Certificate programs that are already running in partnership with Coursera. Through the USO Pathfinder Transition Program, Transition Specialists guide participants through the process, develop a personalized Action Plan, and help connect them to additional resources and networks.
“This online learning opportunity is a continuation of our commitment to stand by service members from the moment they enlist to the moment they are settled back into civilian life,” said Lisa Elswick, Vice President of Transition Programs at USO. “We are proud to partner with Coursera so that the military community can set and reach their personal and professional career goals.”
Topics covered during the two-month course include analyzing personal motivations, prioritizing career pursuits, creating a career journey map, avoiding common transition pitfalls, and more. Participants will engage with a variety of videos, readings, discussions, quizzes, and USO Pro Tips – key points to accelerate transformation – along the way. “The lessons I teach are designed to give military community members the tools they need to recognize personal or systemic challenges, develop clear career goals, and succeed in a rapidly changing world,” said Boatwright. “Hopefully, my personal experience as an Air Force veteran, corporate leader, and now entrepreneur, will make the course both relatable and inspiring.”
The course’s kick-off follows many months of thoughtful lesson planning from the USO, Coursera, and Boatwright. The end goal was to create an easily navigable, highly engaging space for service members to kickstart careers. Initial feedback suggests that the new course will be a success in these respects. “This course is exactly what I needed when I transitioned from the Marine Corps. I found there were few programs that actually addressed finding your purpose,” reflected beta tester Derek Ludlow. “I love that this course addresses both finding your purpose and going after it! And that’s just one takeaway – from start to finish, there is so much great advice here and actionable content.”
“We are proud to partner with the USO to offer coursework designed for the specific needs and interests of military members,” said Betty Vandenbosch, Chief Content Officer at Coursera. “This collaboration will provide service members with a flexible, fully-online learning program to help them prepare for and succeed in civilian careers.”
To learn more about “Making Your Military Transition a Transformation” and other USO Pathfinder Transition Program offerings, please visit USO.org/transition.
About the USO:
The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home, and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort, and support. The USO is a private nonprofit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services, and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, the support of our corporate partners, and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. To join us in this important mission and learn more about the USO, please visit USO.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Coursera was launched in 2012 by two Stanford Computer Science professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, with a mission to provide universal access to world-class learning. It is now one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, with 82 million registered learners as of March 31, 2021. Coursera partners with over 200 leading university and industry partners to offer a broad catalog of content and credentials, including Guided Projects, courses, specializations, certificates, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees. More than 6,000 institutions have used Coursera to upskill and reskill their employees, citizens, and students, including in high-demand fields such as data science, technology, and business. Coursera became a B Corp in February 2021.