California college students can take free online course from any state institution
- The California State University system is more broadly promoting an initiative that will allow its residential students to access online courses at any of its 23 campuses through a new database launched this week, Inside Higher Education reported. Students will be able to take one free online course each semester.
- Since 2013, the system has allowed students to take courses at other campuses, but now some 3,000 are available to students who have finished one semester and 12 credits, obtained at least a 2.0 GPA and paid full-time tuition.
- The CSU Fully Online database was released last week with a self-test to help students see if courses are suitable for them. The database will make the classes more accessible, system officials hope, and a marketing campaign through social media and various system websites will promote it. Also, each student’s individual portal will have a link to the database, and campus advisers will be trained in how to explain use of the system.
More than 2,400 students have taken courses through the system that has been in place since 2013, which was backed by state law in 2015, but Inside Higher Education reports that it wasn’t widely promoted and not nearly as many courses were offered as anticipated.
The move is part of an Graduation Initiative 2025 through which the state university system hopes to reach goals to raise the graduation rate for state students and eliminate the achievement gap. It is also ending placement exams and helping students find another state university when one they hoped to attend is full.
Hawaii, Illinois, Nebraska, New York and Texas are among the states that offer similar course-share programs.
In November, Quartz reported that 200 more universities were offering free massive open online courses, adding to the some 800 institutions that have offered about 8,000 MOOCs since 2012.
Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania announced recently that it was moving into the online arena to broaden its appeal and attract its students to summer courses. A university official said the college was planning to develop a blended program soon as part of an effort to offer e-learning to its students. EdSurge has reported that more small private colleges are offering online courses to their students to stay afloat.
- Inside Higher Education Mixing and Matching Cal State Online Courses -- Free