As we know, college tuition is very expensive and rapidly becoming pricier. The average student debt load is astronomically rising as student borrow more and more to finance their degrees.
Additionally, in a tenuous -- yet slowly improving -- job market, many workers and work seekers need to learn new skills in order to compete.
And with rising energy/service/food costs matched with stagnant wages, an organization called Coursera -- offering free on-line courses -- has come to the rescue of millions who can not afford a higher education.
What is Coursera?
Coursera, a start-up online education company that has enrolled 1.35 million students in its free online courses since it began just five months ago, is now more than doubling, to 33, its partners, universities that will offer classes on its platform. All together, Coursera will provide more than 200 free “massive open online courses,” known as MOOCs.
The new partners include two more Ivy League institutions, Brown University and Columbia University; a liberal arts college, Wesleyan University; specialized institutions like the Mount Sinai School of Medicine; public research universities like the University of Florida; and more international schools like the University of Melbourne, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
The caliber of Coursera’s partners — Princeton, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania were among the original partners — has given it credibility and cachet in higher education circles, so much so that some university presidents have begun to fret that it will reflect badly on them if they fail to sign on. source
This service is potentially a game changer or field leveler: Poor and economically disadvantaged are now being offered a free education from the most elite American universities. This is great American innovation at work. But hold the presses, here is an inexplicable twist to this feel good story. Minnesota.
We prohibit our residents by law from furthering their education by enrolling in free on-line courses.
I guess Minnesota was suffering from a touch of -- as President Obama says affects Romney -- flip flopping Romnesia.