Roll your own college education

Many students attend two, three, four or more colleges en route to a degree, writes Chad Alderman on The Quick and the Ed. With AP and online courses, plus low-cost community college options, even more will be rolling their own education. So why not let course-givers provide credits, instead of going through institutions?

StraighterLine offers college courses for $99 a month (read more about how this works here), but then partners with accredited colleges and universities, like Fort Hays State, to accept the credits and provide a stamp of legitimacy in the form of its regional accreditation.

Alderman envisions a student who takes “MIT’s math courses, StraighterLine’s Economics I, Introductory Spanish at the local community college, and a rhetoric course at a state university.”

All the courses must be certified as high quality and completely transferable, which could be possible with common learning standards and summative evaluations.

Ensuring quality is the challenge. The exam backing common learning standards couldn’t be set at the MIT level. What level would be considered reasonable?

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