Press Releases & Coverage

Drexel University Signs Agreement with SkillSoft to Offer College Credit for SkillSoft Course Completions

SkillSoft Students Can Receive Up to 20 Hours of Undergraduate Credit At No Cost and Tuition Discounts When Enrolling in Online Drexel University Degree Programs


NASHUA, N.H., Jun 24, 2003 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL), a leading provider of e-learning courseware and referenceware for business and IT professionals, today announced that it has signed an articulation agreement with Drexel eLearning, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Drexel University specializing in Internet-based distance education programs for working professionals. The agreement allows those who have completed SkillSoft business and IT courses to receive up to 20 credits at no cost toward the completion of undergraduate degrees in communications, applied technology, or general studies. SkillSoft students also are eligible for a ten-percent discount on tuition expenses for any Drexel University online degree or certificate program.

SkillSoft e-learning courses are in use in thousands of corporations worldwide. The agreement between SkillSoft and Drexel University gives business and IT professionals the opportunity to obtain college credit for work-related training and on-going skills development.

To receive credit for a SkillSoft course, a student must obtain a grade of 70 percent or higher on the course test. Students receive one credit for every ten contact hours associated with a SkillSoft course. For instance, successful completion of SkillSoft's Six Sigma course series, comprised of eight courses, would earn the learner a minimum of 3 college credits.

More than 2,000 SkillSoft courses are eligible for credit at Drexel University.

"Online learning offers many advantages to the working professional looking to further his or her education," said Dr. Tom Samph, CEO of Drexel eLearning. "We have deliberately set high standards for interactivity, instructional rigor, and content quality. We have distinguished the quality as well as the breadth and depth of content that Skillsoft offers relevant to our degree and certificate programs. This partnership opens the door to further college education to literally millions of professionals worldwide. " Drexel University launched its first online programs in 1997 in information science and nursing. Today, it offers more than forty online degree and certificate programs in business, information science, engineering, nursing, education, and general studies.

"Drexel University is widely recognized for its innovation in learning, and our partnership has far-reaching benefits," said Chuck Moran, president and CEO of SkillSoft. "Our corporate clients gain because the training offered to employees has incremental value. And employees can now use our courseware to achieve personal goals in higher education, as well as work- related skills development."

For more information on this agreement and for a catalog of online programs offered by Drexel, go to www.drexel.com/skillsoft or call 877 215 0009.

About Drexel University

Founded in 1891 by financier Anthony J. Drexel, Drexel University holds a unique place in higher education as Philadelphia's technological university and a leader in the integration of technology into academics. Drexel's distinguished faculty and quality academic programs have been recognized internationally. In 1983, Drexel was the first university to require all students to have access to a personal computer. In 2000, Drexel became the first major U.S. university to operate a campus-wide, fully wireless network. Yahoo! Internet Life ranks Drexel as the sixth "most wired" university in the nation and first in wireless access. U.S. News and World Report ranks Drexel as the top university for specialized programs in information systems, in the top 10 for library and information science, and among the top 25 best online MBA programs. Drexel University has approximately 16,000 current students enrolled in campus and online classes and more than 90,000 alumni.

About SkillSoft
SkillSoft is a leading provider of e-learning courseware and referenceware for business and IT professionals. SkillSoft products and services are designed to accelerate the ability of today’s workforce to master the business and technology skills required for competitive success. The company has more thousands of corporate customers worldwide and more than 4.5 million licensed users.

SkillSoft focuses on meeting the comprehensive business skills and information technology learning needs of professionals in Global 5000 organizations through a comprehensive range of content-focused, e-learning solutions, including:


Business Skills Library: More than 1,900 courseware and simulation titles encompassing professional effectiveness, management/leadership, project management, sales & customer-facing skills, business strategy/operations, finance, human resources, safety/health and financial services industry. Courses feature strong visual design; a focus on instructional objectives at the application and analysis levels; learner interactivity and reinforcement through RolePlays, SkillSimulations, and case studies; and pre- and post-course assessments with prescriptive learning capabilities.


IT Skills and Certification Library:
More than 1,800 course titles encompassing software development, operating systems and server technologies, Internet and network technologies, enterprise database systems, web design, and desktop computer skills. The IT library also supports more than 70 current certification exams.


ITPro and Business Pro Referenceware: More than 3,600 unabridged IT and business books and reports are available to online subscribers through SkillSoft’s subsidiary, Books24x7. A unique, patent-pending search engine gives subscribers the ability to perform multi-level searches.

SkillSoft customers include organizations such as: Siemens Business Services, Novell, American Red Cross, Fluor Corporation, Verizon, U.S. Army, Deloitte Consulting, Raytheon, IBM, Internal Revenue Service, Army National Guard, Qwest, Department of Transportation, and NEC America.

SkillSoft, SkillPort, RolePlay, Search-and-Learn, e-Learning for the Knowledge Economy, NetUniversity, and Accelerated Path are trademarks and/or servicemarks of SkillSoft PLC. Books24x7 and Referenceware are servicemarks of Books24x7, Inc. All brand names, trademarks, or registered trademarks are the property of their respective holders.


This release includes information that constitutes forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any such forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results encompassed within the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include difficulties in integrating the organizations of SmartForce and SkillSoft, competitive pressures, changes in customer demands or industry standards, adverse economic conditions, loss of key personnel, litigation and other matters disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" in SkillSoft's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended October 31, 2002, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking financial information provided by the Company in this press release represents the Company's estimates as of April xx, 2003. We anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's estimates to change. However, while the Company may elect to update this forward-looking financial information at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. This forward-looking information should not be relied upon as representing the Company's estimates of its future financial performance as of any date subsequent to the date of this release.

Contacts:
Linda Galloway
Apollo Associates LLC
203-790-1591
lgalloway@apolloassociates.com


Dennis Brown
Director of Corporate Communications
SkillSoft PLC
630-707-9024
dbrown@skillsoft.com