Making MOOCs pragmatic.

Academic Partnerships is always looking for ways to expand the reach of our partner universities so they can help more students achieve their aspirations. It is with that in mind that we launched the MOOC2Degree program.

The massive open online course movement combined with the latest distance learning technologies represents an unprecedented breakthrough in the quest for universal access, and MOOC2Degree takes it even one step further.

Academic Partnerships’ MOOC2Degree converts the MOOC into a pragmatic tool that leads to a credential. The initiative makes the first course in a degree program a MOOC— free, open and for-credit.

The MOOC is the same course with the same academic content, taught by the same instructor, as currently offered in the online degree programs at our partner universities. Students who successfully complete a MOOC2Degree course earn academic credits toward a degree, based upon criteria established by the university.

The free start is just the encouragement many working adults need to enroll in a degree program that will have a significant impact on their future success, and it benefits our universities as well, since MOOC2Degree is likely to attract larger numbers of qualified students into degree programs. While the number of online education opportunities continues to increase rapidly, there are still many adults who are uncertain about learning online. This initiative provides a way for them to try online learning risk-free as the first step toward obtaining a degree.

A number of our public university partners are already participating in the initiative and others will do so soon. We are proud to be the first organization to help put students directly into a degree program through a MOOC and are pleased that MOOC2Degree has helped transition MOOCs into a practical benefit for students and universities alike.