A new and very popular initiative helps motivated people to realize the value of an online education, without the financial risk by offering full credit courses that can lead to master-level degrees. And the key words for this initiative are “For free”. While there are already some online offerings for free online education, in most cases, maximum, you can get the certificate for successful completion. But very few were giving academic credits, as far as I know.
The initiative is called MOOC2Degree (where MOOC stands for massive open online course), and is a partnership between the participating universities and a commercial company called Academic Partnerships. Academic Partnerships works with the universities to recruit students for these free courses, and takes a cut from the tuition from students that enroll for further studies.
The concept is simple, set up online courses that any student anywhere can take online, and then give those participants credit towards a degree if they subsequently enroll as an actual student after successfully completing the course. Academic Partnerships admitted that trial runs of the program have seen 72 to 84 percent of students that complete courses successfully enroll as regular students.
The participating universities include: Arizona State University, Cleveland State University, Florida International University, Lamar University, University of Arkansas System, University of Cincinnati, University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing, University of West Florida and Utah State University. Additional universities are said to be joining in the months ahead, as they work through the process of providing MOOCs.
The first MOOCs begin this spring.
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