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.