40 Public Universities Will Offer Free Online Classes for Credit

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You can take an introductory class taught by real professors in several subjects with no strings attached. The hope is you'll pay to continue for a degree.

The New York Times describes an “unusual arrangement” between a commercial company called Academic Partnerships and dozens of schools including Arizona State, Florida International University, the University of Cincinnati and the University of Arkansas…

“It’s a bold strategy on the part of the institutions,” said Michael Tanner, vice president for academic affairs at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. “In some sense, it’s a new recruitment strategy: give them a free sample, and maybe they’ll find they have an appetite for it.”

The initial options will focus on professional-development programs, such as teaching or nursing. Many courses aren’t finalized yet, so specifics are limited. The University of Cincinnati will offer Innovation and Design Thinking, which could contribute to a master’s degree in business or engineering. The University of Texas-Arlington has an introductory nursing course.

For details on the expanding list of MOOC offerings and participating schools, visit mooc2degree.com.

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