California is launching an online education pilot program.
Udacity, an online course creator, recently announced that it has formed a partnership with San Jose State University to create a series of remedial and introductory courses for students, The New York Times reports. This marks the first time university professors have collaborated with a provider of massive open online courses (MOOCs) to offer for-credit classes.
California Governor Jerry Brown decided to work with Udacity as a solution to the state's college-readiness problem. Ellen N. Junn, provost and vice president for academic affairs at San Jose State University, told the Times that more than half of college freshmen in the state cannot meet basic academic requirements. Across the nation, a similar trend has been reported, as only 24% of high school seniors who took the ACT test in 2010 met its college-ready benchmarks in all four subject areas.
To ensure students are better prepared for college, California officials will launch the pilot program with Udacity. During the pilot, only 300 students will participate, paying lower tuition rates for these courses, which will include remedial algebra, college-level algebra and introductory statistics.
If the pilot goes well, thousands of California students may soon be able to take affordable remedial classes over the internet to prepare for their associate's or bachelor's degree programs.