Antioch to offer free online classes taught by Ivy League professors

Antioch is the first institution in the country to sign an agreement to offer select massive open online courses for credit through Coursera, a new company that has allowed more than a million people around the world to participate in classes for free. Antioch Midwest in Yellow Springs is expected to begin participating this spring.

“It’s extremely exciting for students,” said Antioch Chancellor Felice Nudelman.

The new partnership will cut the cost of college for students, Nudelman said. It will allow both adults completing their bachelor’s degree and students who are in high school to earn college credit at Antioch for a lower cost — less than $100 for three credit hours in one model, Nudelman said.

Regular tuition for Antioch Midwest’s bachelor’s degree competition program is $527 per semester credit hour, according to the university’s website.

Students will be able to take the online classes and complete a written narrative for Antioch to earn credit. For an additional cost, students will be able to receive instruction and guidance from an Antioch instructor while taking the online class.

Normally, people who complete classes through Coursera do not earn academic credit, but they can receive a letter stating they completed the class. For instance, Ohio State University recently developed an introduction to pharmacy and a class classed Generation Rx, but the university does not grant credit for those courses, according to OSU’s website.

Antioch’s launched its for-credit partnerships this month at its Los Angeles campus with two courses developed by the University of Pennsylvania: Modern and Contemporary American Poetry, and Greek and Roman Mythology, according to the university.

“For many students, the opportunity to study with some of the elite universities — like Duke, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard — and to be able sign up for a course for free and study in areas that will expand their thinking, get them exciting about education and be part of something that they may not normally be a part of is just tremendously exciting,” Nudelman said.

Nudelman said it is a great opportunity for high school students, who will be able to participate without ever leaving their high school building. Those students, she said, will have credit when they apply to college. By next fall, Antioch will offer a fully online bachelor’s degree competition program incorporating both Antioch courses and massive open online courses, Nudelman said. She expects the university to have a list of courses that will be available on their website in a few weeks time.

“It’s exciting for Antioch University to be a national innovator and be working with these institutions,” she said.

Nudelman said Antioch is also working to establish local partnerships, and this January will launch a collaboration with Clark State Community College in Springfield.

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