NACTEL Honored by CAEL

The National Coalition for Telecommunications Education and Learning (NACTEL) was chosen by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) as a 2014 recipient of its Institutional Service Award. The award was given in recognition of NACTEL’s 15-year history of expanding lifelong learning opportunities for working adults and improving access for adults to quality academic programs carefully aligned with careers in the telecommunications industry. Each year the award is given by CAEL to institutions that best exemplify a commitment to adult learners. This year marks the first time an organization other than a higher-education institution was honored.

CAEL is an international non-profit founded in 1974; this year marks CAEL’s 40th anniversary of CAEL’s work to Link Learning to Work by making it easier for people to get the education and training they need to get employed and stay employed. From its beginnings in 1974 to the present, CAEL has been the nation’s leading advocate for adult students.

The Institutional Service Award was presented to NACTEL on November 12, 2014 at CAEL’s Annual International Conference. This year’s conference was held in Chicago and attended by nearly 600 attendees including college faculty and administrators, HR professionals, workforce developers, and representatives from labor and government. Several members of NACTEL’s Board of Directors were present to receive the award.


Jim Spellane, Media Advisor for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, accepted on behalf of NACTEL and spoke about the importance of the coalition’s work in general, and education in particular. “Education remains the best path to a more prosperous future, both as individuals and as a society,” he said. “Our nation needs more of kind of opportunity offered by NACTEL and so many other programs that your organizations and institutions develop and provide. That’s why being here today is both uplifting and inspirational.”

NACTEL is a non-profit partnership of employers and labor unions that promote online education to address critical needs in the telecommunications industry. Established in 1998, NACTEL works with regionally accredited Pace University to co-develop a comprehensive online curriculum that remains totally aligned with the new directions in the industry. NACTEL programs are routinely recognized as a high quality, state-of-the art way to prepare for the evolving industry, both for incumbent workers and for those who wish to enter the industry.

Pace University has awarded more than 1,200 NACTEL-sponsored degrees at the Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s levels. In addition, students have taken more than 25,000 courses throughout NACTEL’s 15-year history.

Maintaining a prepared and educated workforce in a rapidly changing industry is a huge challenge. NACTEL is honored to receive this recognition.

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