Partners and Affiliates

Collaborations Supporting SkillsCommons Success

Several organizations collaborated within the TAACCCT Learning Network to provide technical assistance to TAACCCT grantees to improve and ensure the successful fulfillment of the TAACCCT program SGA requirements sponsored by the Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration.

The organizations within the TAACCCT Learning Network that partnered with SkillsCommons to deliver support services include the following:

Advanced Technological Education (ATE):

A group of National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Centers collaborated to provide technical assistance services to DOL TAACCCT grantees based on extensive experience providing materials and support in their discipline areas and in mentoring faculty as well as other colleges, centers, and projects in general over the 21 years that the ATE program has been funded. Technical assistance was provided in a variety of manners including webinars, teleconferences, best practices, coaching, etc. All centers worked with DOL TAACCCT programs in varying ways, and one NSF Center was also the lead for a large Round 1 TAACCCT consortium.

For more information contact:
Ann Beheler
Executive Director of Emerging Technology Grants

Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST):

CAST is an education research and development nonprofit that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals through Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

Through generous funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, CAST is helped all TAACCCT grantees meet the TAACCCT SGA requirement for UDL :

All online and technology-enabled courses developed under this SGA must incorporate the principles of universal design in order to ensure that they are readily accessible to qualified individuals with disabilities in full compliance with the Americans with Disability Act and Sections 504 and 508 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

As part of this effort, CAST developed UDL On Campus, a collection of resources geared towards multiple stakeholders within postsecondary institutions, including instructional designers, faculty, policy makers, and administrators. The purpose of the site is to offer an understanding of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in higher education across five categories: 1) Assessment, 2) Selecting Media and Technology, 3) Improving Institutional Policies and Practices, 4) Planning Your Course, and 5) Teaching Approaches. Within each category users can find resources that demonstrate specific ways to address learner variability at the postsecondary level in an effort to improve learning opportunities, retention, and outcomes.

CAST also provided webcasts and personal support through phone and email to TAACCCT grantees and attends national convenings and regional convenings (by invitation) to help grantees utilize Universal Design for Learning in their courses and programs.

For more information contact:
Sam Johnston
Research Scientist

Creative Commons:


The Department of Labor required all grantees to license materials produced with TAACCCT grant funds with a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). This license gives others broad access to TAACCCT resources and permission to use, adapt, and improve the resources as long as the original creator is given credit. The purpose of the CC BY licensing requirement was to ensure the Federal investment of TAACCCT funds had as broad an impact as possible to generate innovation in the development and delivery of learning. Educational resources that are licensed with a Creative Commons CC BY license are called Open Educational Resources (OER).

Creative Commons ( is a non-profit organization that has developed legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing and innovation around the world and across many different sectors. With funding support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Creative Commons provided free strategic and implementation support to all TAACCCT grantees helping them to fulfill the TAACCCT CC BY requirement. Support includes help with:

  • understanding how to design and develop new learning materials that others can reuse and improve
  • applying the Creative Commons (CC BY) license to newly developed works using the Creative Commons license chooser
  • creating appropriate attribution statements so you get credit for your work
  • mixing openly licensed and proprietary material together
  • finding and using existing Open Educational Resources others have produced
  • understanding what OER are, their impact on teaching and learning practice, and benefits associated with sharing and reuse
  • ensuring developed resources are ready for uploading to Skills the repository DOL is using to store and make TAACCCT resources publicly available

Creative Commons provided this support through a series of progressively interactive and intensive means including:

  • always available e-mail support through the e-mail address for all Creative Commons related questions
  • an OPEN for TAACCCT Google+ community that provides grantees with the opportunity to directly interact with and learn from each other as well as request support from Creative Commons. Over 200 grantees are already sharing and receiving support in this community. All past and current interactions are immediately available once you join
  • regularly scheduled webinars open to all
  • customized on-request webinars that Creative Commons tailors to meet your specific needs and delivers specifically to you and your consortia partners
  • in-person workshops and seminars delivered on site at your location or during district gatherings, all grantee convening’s, and other TAACCCT events

Creative Commons has been supporting TAACCCT grantees since 2011. We’re proud to be part of your team and actively promote and showcase your work.

For more information contact:
Paul Stacey
Associate Director of Global Learning

Jobs for the Future (JFF):

Jobs for the Future works to ensure that all underprepared young people and workers have the skills and credentials needed to succeed in our economy. Working with our partners, JFF designed and drove the adoption of innovative and scalable education and career training models and systems. They also develop and advocate for the federal and state policies needed to support these solutions.

Partnering with the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, JFF  led the TAACCCT Learning Network, an initiative to provide comprehensive technical assistance to TAACCCT grantees. The TAACCCT Learning Network expanded on the technical assistance that is currently provided by Creative Commons, CAST, and CalState/Merlot and added new services and support provided by JFF with its partners Maher & Maher and the American Association of Community College, and the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Centers.

TAACCCT Learning Network offerings included:

  • Virtual group exchanges, including online chats and webinars with subject matter experts and conference calls among grantees.
  • In-person convenings, including annual gatherings for all grantees beginning in fall 2015.
  • Tools and resources, including a continually updated TAACCCT page of resources on WorkforceGPS.

For more information contact:
Jennifer Freeman
Program Director


The U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program was a major investment to increase the ability of community colleges to address the challenges of today’s workforce. Grants are designed to help workers eligible for training under the TAA for Workers program, as well as a broad range of other adults. For more information see the TAACCCT fact sheets below:

Learn More About SkillsCommons

   About SkillsCommons  – learn about SkillsCommons and the role we play in TAACCCT.

   SkillsCommons Team Members – learn more about the team members working on SkillsCommons.

   Open Educational Resources (OER) – learn about open educational resources and where you can find them.