FILED IN: Education

California Governor announces college online education pilot program

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In an effort to lower the cost of higher education and make it more available, California Governor Jerry Brown announced on Tuesday a new college online education pilot program.  The pilot program would allow students to take three entry-level mathematics courses and receive college credits.

Brown said in a news conference, “We’re talking about our society, our future and how we can all improve our skills, how we can exercise our imagination, and we can come to understand this great learning environment called California.  We’re about inquiry.  We’re about knowledge, and we’re about reflection and wisdom.  Technology helps that.”

The pilot program is first being offered at California State University, San Jose (San Jose State University) and if it is successful, the program could be rolled out statewide.  The pilot program will initially be limited to 300 students, half from San Jose State University, and the other half from surrounding areas.  Courses will be $150 per course and will be available to students whether or not they are enrolled at the university.

The courses in the pilot program were developed by San Jose State professors and will be taught in conjunction with Udacity, an online education provider.  The pilot program will be a test for massive open online courses (MOOCs) and the quality and effectiveness that can be provided through online teaching.  Online courses will help grant more access for students to popular entry-level courses that are usually hard to get into but needed for degree completion.

About $45,000 has been spent developing the pilot program.  “This is an exciting moment in the intellectual history of our state and of our university, and you know, whatever the damn thing costs, it’s going to be a hell of a lot cheaper than high-speed rail.”

Source: Sacramento Bee