Help Articles

Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative (“The Initiative”) FAQ’s

Last updated September 2020

  1. What is the Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative?
  2. What is the difference between a Course, a Specialization, and a Certificate?
  3. Can you enroll in an individual Course within a Coursera Specialization without enrolling in the Specialization?
  4. Can you enroll and complete an individual Course within a Coursera Specialization without completing in the Specialization?
  5. What terms am I agreeing to when I sign up as a learner under the Initiative?
  6. What are the important dates for the Initiative to be aware of?
  7. What happens if I do not complete my courses or certificates by December 31, 2020?
  8. What is “audit mode” and how is my progress tracked in “audit mode”?
  9. Is it possible to go through the course in audit mode then later elect to purchase a Course Certificate?
  10. Is there any cost to learners enrolled in the Initiative program to complete courses or certificates?
  11. Why am I seeing some content that has a fee to enroll?
  12. Are the courses worth academic credit?
  13. What can I expect to get when I complete a Course, Specialization, or Certificate Program?

 

1. What is the Coursera for Workforce Recovery Initiative? 

Coursera’s Workforce Recovery Initiative gives unemployed and displaced workers free access to around 90% of its catalog of courses and certificate programs. Access is through government agencies and community colleges. The program is meant to help the workforce respond to the impacts of COVID-19 and to help unemployed workers re-skill and re-enter the workforce. For a list of the Initiative offerings, click here

 

2. What is the difference between a course, a Specialization, and a Professional Certificate?

Learners can use Coursera's catalog or the search tool to find individual offerings that fit their interests. 

  • Courses are usually a few weeks long, entirely online, and may contain videos, readings, and assignments. Additional information on how to enroll in an individual Course can be found in the Enroll in a Course article
  • Specializations are a series of related individual courses designed to help you master a specific topic, at your own pace. Some shorter Specializations include as few as three (3) courses and some longer Specializations can include ten (10) or more courses. Additional information on how to enroll in a Specialization can be found in the Enroll in a Specialization article.
  • Professional Certificate programs are designed to help you get job-ready with no prior experience. These programs allow you to learn at your own pace from top companies and universities. The Professional Certificates information page lists all available programs

 

3. Can I enroll in an individual course within a Specialization without enrolling in the other courses or the entire Specialization?

Yes. Learners can take individual Courses within a Specialization without having to complete the entire Specialization. Please visit our learner help page on enrollment for more on how to enroll individual Courses within Specialization.

 

4. Can you enroll and complete an individual Course within a Coursera Specialization without completing in the Specialization?

Yes. Learners can enroll in and complete individual Courses within a Specialization without having to complete the entire Specialization. Please visit our article on enrollment for more on how to complete individual courses within a Specialization.

 

5. What terms am I agreeing to when I sign up as a learner in this initiative? 

As a learner on the Coursera platform, you will agree to Coursera’s Terms of Use and Privacy Notice. These terms set out the guidelines that learners must follow to use the Coursera platform and services and give an overview of the services provided. They specifically address things like the licenses that we offer to learners (for example to download materials for non-commercial use), intellectual property ownership, details about prohibited conduct on the Coursera platform to prevent abuse and to promote a safe and productive space to learn for everyone, and Coursera’s use of learner information.  

 

6. What are the important Initiative deadlines to be aware of? 

Currently, learners can enroll for free in certain Courses, Specializations, and Professional Certificates through October 31, 2020, and will get access to those offerings through December 31, 2020. 

After October 31, 2020, learners will not be able to enroll for free in the Initiative offerings and will have until December 31, 2020, to complete what they have enrolled in.  

 

7. What happens if I do not complete my courses, Specializations, or Professional Certificates by December 31, 2020? 

If learners do not complete their Course, Specialization, or Professional Certificate  through the C4WR program by December 31, 2020, and if the government sponsor of the program does not continue it, learners will have the option (but no obligation) to either: 

(1) continue to access the enrolled course(s), Specialization(s), and/or Professional Certificate programs in “audit mode” for no fee, or 

(2) pay for enrolled course(s),Specialization(s), and/or Professional Certificate(s) to complete the offering(s) and earn a Certificate of completion. 

Individual learners' course progress will be saved in their individual learner account, so a learner could pick up where they left off on any individual course and resume their progress later. After December 31, 2020, learners access to enrolled courses will be converted to "audit access" only. 

If, after December 31, 2020, a learner does not take action, the learner will not be billed for the access they received to the offerings through the Initiative prior to December 31, 2020, or for any progress they have made during that period. 

After December 31, 2020, if a learner chooses to pay for access to individual Courses, Specializations, or Professional Certificates (those in which they enrolled as part of the Initiative but did not complete or new Courses, Specializations, or Professional Certificates), the estimated cost of such access is as follows: 

  • Individual Courses that are available for purchase are available for 180 days from the purchase date. Where available, successful completion results in a Course Certificate. A list of individual courses and course rates may be found here.  
  • Specializations are available as monthly subscriptions and monthly rates range from $39-79/month, and successful completion results in a certificate of completion. A list of Specializations and monthly rates may be found here.  
  • Professional Certificates are available as monthly subscriptions ranging from $39-79/month or may be purchased individually ranging from $148 to $305. Successful completion results in a certificate of completion. A list of Professional Certificates and rates may be found here

Learners may also enroll in Coursera Plus for $399/year, which allows them to all-access these offerings. Additional information about Payments on Coursera may be found here.  

 

8. What is “audit mode” and how is my progress tracked if I am auditing a course?

Many courses on Coursera have an audit option, which lets you see most course materials for free.

When learners audit a course, they will: 

  • Be able to see most of the course materials for free, but will not be able to submit certain assignments or get grades for their work
  • Not be able to take quizzes
  • Not be able to submit assignments for feedback or a grade
  • Not be issued a certificate of completion

Individual learners' course progress will be saved in their individual learner account, so a learner could pick up where they left off on any individual course and resume their progress later.

 

9. Is it possible to audit a course and  later elect to purchase a Course Certificate? 

Learners can upgrade from auditing to the paid Course Certificate mode of access at any time during or after their audit. There may be additional coursework to complete that was not available in the audit mode. Additional details about enrollment options can be found here

 

10. Is there any cost to learners enrolled in the Initiative to complete course(s), Specialization(s), or Professional Certificate(s)

Enrollment in the Initiative Course(s), Specialization(s), and Professional Certificate(s) are free. Learners who enroll in free offerings may, nevertheless, encounter fees to use optional or required third-party software or supplemental learning materials that are not included as part of the course offering(s). A list of the Initiative courses with third-party fee materials may be found here and optional or required materials are subject to the refund policies and other terms and conditions of the providers of such materials. Learners are encouraged to review each individual Course, Specialization, and Professional Certificate descriptions, which typically identify any such required third-party materials, as new content and materials are added to the catalog frequently.     

 

11. Why am I seeing some content that has a fee to enroll? 

Coursera’s Workforce Recovery Initiative includes free access to about 90% of the catalog of courses and certificate programs available on the Coursera platform. A small portion of the catalog is not part of the initiative, and if learners navigate to that content, they will be able to view the corresponding fees before purchasing access. 

If learners are seeing a prompt to pay before enrolling, we suggest:

  • Checking to make sure they are logged into the correct Coursera account by visiting their Settings page from the menu on the upper right
  • Confirming that the course they are trying to enroll into is eligible under their program
  • Using the menu on the upper left to switch to their program dashboard

 

12. Are the courses, Specializations, or Professional Certificates worth academic credit? 

Courses, Specializations, or Professional Certificates that are part of the Initiative offering are not-for-credit. Some accredited institutions may offer academic credit in connection with the completion of offerings like those made available in the Initiative program. If you are interested in learning more about academic credit, you should contact the accredited institution that you are interested in directly to discuss their policies for recognizing prior learning for credit. 

 

13. What can I expect to get when I complete a Course, Specialization, or Certificate Program? 

For Courses, Specializations, or Certificate Programs where certificates are made available for completion, learners who complete before December 31, 2020, can expect to receive a shareable certificate of completion, see below: 

A Certificate includes:

A Certificate does not include:

  • The Course, Specialization, or Certificate Program name
  • The instructor's signature
  • The logo of the partner institution offering the Course, Specialization, or Certificate Program if the partner institution includes it
  • A verification URL that allows others to check the Certificate's authenticity
  • A statement that Coursera has confirmed the identity of the learner who completed the Course,  Specialization, or Certificate Program
  • Academic credit from the partner institution offering the Course, Specialization, or Certificate Program
  • The final grade you got in the Course, Specialization, or Certificate Program
  • Your ID photo
  • The hours you spent working on coursework
  • A printed or mailed copy of the Shareable Certificate. Certificates are provided as downloadable PDF files, which you can print yourself. You can also share them electronically

If learners complete after December 31, 2020, without paying (i.e., in audit mode), no certificate will be issued. If learners choose to pay to complete after December 31, 2020, a shareable certificate of completion will still be available. 

 

If you have additional questions, please visit our Learner Help Center 


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