This week, Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) provider Udacity announced a new partnership with San Jose State University (SJSU). The partnership will kick off a pilot program offering both remedial and introductory courses at a low cost. These for-credit courses, which will include remedial algebra, college-level algebra and introductory statistics, will be launching this month.
Ellen N. Junn, provost and vice president for academic affairs at SJSU, told the New York Times that the California State University System is struggling with the fact that over 50 percent of the students enrolling in their institutions are not meeting the proper requirements to succeed in higher education.
The move to partner with Udacity comes at time when Jerry Brown, the Governor of California, is encouraging higher education institutions in the state to expand online learning options as an alternative to traditional instructional methods. According to The Verge (Manhattan, New York), the partnership was initiated by Brown as a means to help institutions reduce spending and maintain tuition fees.
The online courses will be offered to a maximum of 300 students – half from SJSU and the other half from local community colleges in the area. It is expected that these online courses will eventually be opened up and offered to more students across the state of California. For now, the online courses will cost students $150, which is substantially less than the cost of tuition at the institution.