It’s not often that a major corporation like Thomson Reuters teams up with an educational institution to create an entirely new course and curriculum.

FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business, and the University of Wisconsin-Stout just started what is believed to be the first post-secondary course in the nation on search engine optimization (SEO). It’s part of the web development minor in UW-Stout’s information communication technologies program.

Craig Yolitz, vice president, Customer Operations, FindLaw and FindLaw SEO professionals/instructors at UW-Stout.

Craig Yolitz, vice president, Customer Operations, FindLaw and FindLaw SEO professionals/instructors at UW-Stout.

It started with a visit to the Eagan campus of Thomson Reuters by UW-Stout Chancellor Charles W. Sorenson. Craig Yolitz, vice president of Customer Operations for FindLaw and a UW-Stout alumnus, told the chancellor how FindLaw and other Thomson Reuters businesses were facing challenges in hiring employees with web technology skills, particularly in SEO.

From that conversation sprang a unique collaboration that involves FindLaw helping develop curriculum and providing instructors for the new SEO course, as well as providing a financial donation for the establishment of the Thomson Reuters Web Development Program Fund at the Stout University Foundation.

The course will teach students how to create websites and content to make them more easily identified and indexed by search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

In the video clip below, Yolitz discusses why this program is important for Thomson Reuters.