Many students are graduating college with debt and a degree—but no job. The reason, employers say, is that higher education is not providing students with the skills they need to succeed.
Coding bootcamps and online schools have been stepping up to fill that gap in training, and now the Obama administration is signaling its interest in these emerging models with a new pilot program called Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships, or Equip.
Since World War II, federal aid for higher education has focused on nonprofit institutions, and specifically four-year colleges and universities. Equip takes a different route, with $17 million in grants and loans for students at eight startup partners, including the Flatiron School, Study.com, and an on-the-job training program in General Electric's aviation unit.
The Education Department, which will manage Equip, says it hopes to attract students who never attended college, as well as mid-career students looking to re-skill.