40 Public Universities Will Offer Free Online Classes for Credit

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.

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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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