The New Jersey School Boards Association has forged a partnership with the New Jersey Association of School Administrators in its official rebranding and launch of the new Online University Hub, a professional development academy for educators available here.

The Online University Hub, formerly known as NJSBA Online University, will offer engaging and interactive e-learning courses to all K-12 public school district stakeholders.

In a joint statement, the executive directors of the NJSBA, Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, and of the NJASA, Dr. Richard Bozza, expressed their commitment and enthusiasm for this new collective endeavor.

“Our two organizations are pleased to work together to provide this enhanced digital training platform to support the New Jersey education community as it continues to strive for educational excellence and to help every student reach his or her potential,” according to the statement.

The Online University Hub is part of NJSBA’s state-approved cooperative pricing system, meaning school districts can save money and bypass the often lengthy formal bidding process.

Most of the online assessment-driven courses, which allow participants to determine their optimal learning path, are two hours each and can be accessed anytime. In addition, the Online University Hub will offer training on the platform through partners, including the Rutgers University Division of Continuing Studies and the International Society for Technology in Education, which offers the ISTE Certified Educator Program. More partners will be announced in coming months.

The high-caliber courses use scenario-based approaches to learner engagement and integrate social learning opportunities so that educators can more effectively connect year-round with their peers from throughout the Garden State.

SHI, a Somerset, New Jersey-based company that serves districts and businesses with integrated IT services, and Eduscape of Montvale, New Jersey, a nationally recognized leader in K-12 professional development and innovation, are the private industry partners dedicated to the program.

“We are honored and deeply humbled to be partnering with both NJSBA and NJASA to launch this first-in-the-nation professional development model for New Jersey educators in our home state,” said Alex Urrea, founder and CEO of Eduscape. “The Online University Hub combines best-in-class and relevant content in areas such as social-emotional learning, culturally responsive teaching and data-driven instruction for educators to experience asynchronous learning opportunities with access to comprehensive learning tools, research-based resources, and the opportunity to join communities all on one platform.”

The Online University Hub will deliver a subscription-based, remote learning hub of more than 100 courses across 30-plus learning paths that support timely topics in education, including learning loss recovery, social-emotional learning, creative instruction, and STEAM education, which incorporates an interdisciplinary approach to science, technology, engineering, the arts and math.

More Advantages  School districts may also be able to access funding for these courses under the recently-approved federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Some of the Online University Hub’s courses include the Foundations of Virtual Instruction, Accelerated Learning Recovery for Teachers, Accessibility for All, Google for Tech-Enhanced Classrooms, Diversity and Equity in the Classroom, Principles of English Language Learning, and Social and Emotional Strategies.

Micro-credentialing, also referred to as nanodegrees, or mini-qualifications that certify workplace experience, skills and subject area proficiency, also will be offered.

Developed by educators, the Online University Hub presents modern curricula that allow participants to annotate and retrieve notes from their coursework and proceed at their own speed. School administrators and teachers will also be able to access a digital portfolio to track credentials. In addition, the courses can be taken on any device via the internet, including a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

For further information about the Online University Hub, please email SHI@njsba.org or visit njlearninghub.org.