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Coursera Receives Industry-first Authorized Instructional Platform Designation from the American Council on Education
[April 16, 2024]

Coursera Receives Industry-first Authorized Instructional Platform Designation from the American Council on Education


Coursera is the first online learning platform to receive the Authorized Instructional Platform designation from the American Council of Education (ACE©) for academic integrity, security, and rigor of its learning experience. This approval also boosts the market value of industry-authored courses and credentials on Coursera that have earned ACE© credit recommendations.

"In a world of accelerating change, learners and institutions are looking for three things to ensure their online learning investment is worth it: high-quality education and training from trusted sources, a highly engaging learning experience, and a high level of assurance that learning will be recognized and valued by employers and universities," said Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO. "The ACE Authorized Instructional Platform designation provides a powerful testament to the quality, rigor, and integrity of the online learning experience underpinning every assessment, course, and credential from the world's top universities and companies on Coursera."

As an Authorized Instructional Platform, Coursera's assessment framework, course design, and teaching and learning experience meet ACE's rigorous psychometric, technology, and information security standards. It also means that courses that obtained ACE credit recommendations off-platform will maintain their recommendations if added to the Coursera platform.

"ACE's partnership with Coursera will play an increasingly crucial role in assuring that non-traditional learning and industry training meets the rigorous standards deserving of academic credit," said Ted Mitchell, ACE President. "By providing a consistent and trusted framework for evaluation and value recognition, we can help industry and academia speak the same language, scale for-credit learning across entire systems of higher education, and equip large populations of students for jobs of the future."

ACE Credit Recommendations: making it easier to give and get academic credit for skills training and online learning

In addition to reviewing the platform experience, ACE also evaluates non-traditional learning content, including online courses and industry micro-credentials, and recommends how many academic credits a higher education institution may recognize for each one. Today, over 25 Professional Certificates and Specializations on Coursera from top companies, including Google, IBM, Meta, and DeepLearning.AI, have earned ACE or European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credit recommendations.



For learners, ACE credit recommendations can:

  • Make it easier to earn academic credit for courses taken outside of academic institutions. For example, a learner who completes the Google IT Support Certificate can share their digital transcript with ACE credit endorsement for their local university's approval directly through the Credly platform.
  • Enable faster progress toward a larger credential like a degree. For example, three degrees from Illinois Institute of Technology on Coursera recognize credit for 15 certifications or Specializations, allowing eligible learners to start learning before enrolling in the full degree.
  • Validate that learners' educational investment is recognized by the market.

For institutions, ACE credit recommendations help:


  • Provide certainty that online learning programs are quality-assured, increasing employer trust and confidence in the credential value and skills of job applicants.
  • Simplify credit recognition for job training and career credentials that otherwise wouldn't be offered on campus. For example, universities across the University of Texas System are integrating industry micro-credentials into their on-campus degree programs for credit.
  • Remove barriers to degree pathways to reach more students. For example, Empire State University (SUNY Empire), which reviews and accepts credit for prior learning for ACE credit recommended courses, partnered with the New York State Department of Labor to enable unemployed New Yorkers to transfer credits from eligible courses on Coursera into any of their 125 bachelor's and associate degree programs.

"We are thrilled to see ACE recognize the transformative potential of industry micro-credentials, including Google Career Certificates, to bring higher education and industry closer together and unlock more economic opportunity for learners," said Lisa Gevelber, Grow with Google Founder. "As pioneers in this space, we are committed to expanding access to education and creating flexible pathways for learners to achieve outcomes, whether that's starting a new career, developing in-demand professional skills, or earning credit towards a degree."

To learn more about content that has received ACE Credit Recommendations on Coursera, visit the FAQ page. For more information about Coursera for Campus, visit coursera.org/campus.

About Coursera

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 142 million registered learners as of December 31, 2023. Coursera partners with over 325 leading university and industry partners to offer a broad catalog of content and credentials, including courses, Specializations, Professional Certificates, Guided Projects, and bachelor's and master's degrees. Institutions around the world use Coursera to upskill and reskill their employees, citizens, and students in fields such as data science, technology, and business. Coursera became a Delaware public benefit corporation and a B Corp in February 2021.


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