40 universities are going to offer full credit online courses for free this spring

universityofarkansas

A new initiative hopes to help people realize the value of an online education, without the financial risk. How do they plan to do this? By offering full credit courses that can lead to master-level degrees. For free.

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 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.

There are currently many free courses available online right now through many sources like iTunes U. But there aren’t very many that offer full college credit that you can use to work towards an actual degree. The first MOOCs begin this spring.

[via The Verge, Academic Partnerships, image via Great Degree]

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5 comments

  1. Jenn

    What, were you expecting Harvard? Yale? These may not be uber elite schools, but as long as they are ACCREDITED, they are a legit institution.

    I know a lot of people who think they are too old, not smart enough, etc. to go back to school. This is an opportunity for them to TRY a course that might give them the confidence to start without risking anything more than their time.

  2. Keith

    Yeah, it may be a hook to get people to pay for further education, but is that such a bad thing? Damn, sure beats sitting on the couch playing Halo all day. And the info provided, besides expanding your mind, can be a good research source if you’re already taking similar classes elsewhere. Curiousity is expensive most places these days.

  3. mustbeabillybobanddidnotknow

    @Watch Me: Wow…Really! You’ve never heard of ASU before? What world are you living in? Sorry us hicks are so beneath you. Free anything is good…especially on-going education. If going to one of the “finest schools” turns out snobs like you than no thanks silver spoon.

  4. Watch Me

    Any group that has Jeb Bush as Pimp Daddy has gotta have something wrong with it (see their site and ‘whoop, there it is'; Jebby is selling product for all he’s worth; sort of like a used car salesman).

    In this case, you don’t have to look very far to find the problem. Look at the schools involved … Arizona State?? Arkansas?? Florida International?? West Florida?? (at least I’ve *heard* of most of the others). Party schools, redneck refuges, schools that must be in witness protection since you’ve never heard of them before … kind of a rogue’s gallery of education; one step removed from junior college.

    In fact, look at the pricing beyond this “first one is free” thing and you could just about pay for a year at Harvard for what these bozos want to charge for these glorified junior colleges.

    I guess Pimp Daddy Jeb Bush doesn’t come cheap (playa’s gotta *play”, y’all, and since he done got run out of politics and he’s not qualified for much else, this must be it…next stop, Montel Williams-style tv commercials). At least they had the good sense not to hire his bro for the gig (although the sheer comedic value of having The Village Idiot pimp for higher education would’ve been *hilarious*).

    Online education is a good thing that is offered by some of the finest schools in the country: Cal, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, MIT et. al. Such doesn’t describe *this* crowd, that is for certain.