This week, Harvard University and MIT announced plans to offer free, online courses. You can find articles about this project at the New York Times, Huffington Post, The Boston Herald and Yahoo News, among others. They even plan to offer a certificate of completion for some of the courses.
This is a step in the right direction toward making education more affordable and available to people from a wider range of backgrounds. There are a number of students who have the smarts to get into a prestigious ivy-league school, but not the financial resources to enable them to attend for four years.
It is especially interesting to see that Universities are beginning to compete in this new arena. It will be interesting to watch the evolution of this model.
But, several questions remain for me: Will potential employers and graduate schools recognize these courses as a valuable addition to an applicant’s credentials? Will people who take these courses be seen as self-starters who take the initiative to further their education outside of the constraints of the traditional university system? Do you see this as a move toward making education generally more affordable and accessible?
And most importantly, do you think you will take advantage of this unique opportunity? What courses would you like to see offered?
Personally, I am excited to check this out and take advantage of this new resource! What do you think? Thank you for reading!