ELP MOOC English for Career Development Reaches 1 Million Learners!

September 9, 2020 by Elaney Tedder

Updated October 1, 2020

On Monday, August 31st, English for Career Development (ECD), an ELP MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), reached over 1 million learners since its inception in 2016. Additionally, English for Career Development was ranked as the 7th most popular course on the Coursera platform during 2019, remaining among the top 10 most popular courses in the world for the third year in a row.

ECD was developed after the ELP launched its first MOOC, Applying to US Universities, in 2014. The ELP now has 6 MOOCs on the Coursera platform, with 5 being sponsored by the Department of State: English for Career Development, English for Business and Entrepreneurship, English for Journalism, English for Media Literacy, and English for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

In the English for Career Development course, students learn about the job search, application, and interview process in the United States, while comparing and contrasting the same process in their home country. The course also gives learners the opportunity to explore their global career path, while building vocabulary and improving language skills to achieve their professional goals. ECD accomplishes this through the use of readings, videos, quizzes, and peer-reviewed written submissions.

English for Career Development was created by the University of Pennsylvania with a $700,000 grant provided by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Programs, who recently awarded the ELP with a certificate of recognition for their work on the OPEN program. You can read more about this certificate here. ECD was developed by ELP Short Open Enrollment Programs Manager Robyn Turner and ELP Lecturer Brian McManus, with the support of ELP Instructional Technology Specialist Ula Cutten, ELP Manager of Testing & Programs Elizabeth Gillstrom, ELP Associate Director of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Sarah Arva Grosik, and ELP Language Specialist Michael Sullivan.

ECD, the University of Pennsylvania's most popular Coursera course, has maintained a 4.8 out of 5 star rating, higher than the average Coursera course rating of 4.7, while amassing over 7,000 ratings and nearly 3,000 reviews over its past 4 years on Coursera. Approximately 87% of these reviews are 5 stars. Several of the top reviews of the course state that it is “an excellent course” and that they are glad they came across the course “because I feel I have gained more knowledge and understanding on job search, preparedness and proper planning before interviews.”

Beyond the Coursera platform, the English for Career Development MOOC has also led to a partnership between Banco Santander and the University of Pennsylvania, which will offer 500 scholarships for students to participate in the online English for Professional Development program.  This program was designed for non-native English speakers who are interested in advancing their careers in the global marketplace. The program will give participants the opportunity to explore their global career path, while building their vocabulary and improving their language skills to achieve their professional goals. This program is aimed at university students or young professionals located in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Poland, Peru, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and Uruguay. To learn more about this course and to apply for a scholarship, please click here.

In the University of Pennsylvania’s Compact 2022, the University affirms inclusion as a means toward the essential ends of higher education: equalizing opportunity, educating leaders for all sectors of society, and enriching the experience of all members of the University community. By continuing to partner with online learning platforms such as Coursera, and continuing to receive support from programs such as the State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the ELP can contribute to important initiatives such as those set forth by the University in the Penn Compact 2022 and provide educational and practical English learning opportunities for students across the globe, who may otherwise be forgotten. The ELP is proud of the staff members who assisted in the creation and development of this course, and we are excited to see what new heights we may reach next.

Featured Staff

Ula Cutten

Instructional Technology Specialist

Sarah Arva Grosik

Associate Director of Curriculum and Instruction

Brian McManus


Michael Sullivan

Language Specialist