Eager-to-Learn Turns 20 – Part 1
This year, Eager-to-Learn (ETL), our early education online learning platform, celebrates its 20th anniversary. An institution in Minnesota’s training environment today, ETL started when online learning was just emerging. As Cory Woosley, Director of Workforce Development, remembers, “Online learning was not a big thing twenty years ago. We worked with national partners to learn about e-learning and to learn from leaders in the field.” After ETL began, Cory and others were invited to present the program nationally and internationally because of its innovative approach to training delivery.
However, new programs face barriers, and ETL was no exception. Cory recalls that the most significant obstacle was helping child care licensors understand that online learning was a legitimate way to learn. She drove all over Minnesota, meeting with licensors in each county to convince them to give early educators credit for the ETL courses they took.
ETL has grown significantly over time. About 100 students took a handful of courses during ETL’s first year. Last year, that number was 12,215 students. The program now offers 215 courses, in multiple languages and formats. This includes an online-only format called Anytime Learning and learning communities for the Child Development Associate® Credential and Director Credential. Despite this growth and change, some of the original instructors and advisors are still with the program.
In part two of this blog post, we will look toward the future of ETL with current program manager, Marissa Albritton.