Friday, January 11, 2013

Want free college-level education?

More parents and high school graduates are now opting for local community college education topped off with online four-year college degrees.
For example, the University of Illinois now offers 100 different online degrees. University of Illinois at Springfield has been a leader in the game. Today, about one-third of its majors are online students and 38 percent of all credits at the campus were generated from online courses.

These online courses are offered to classes of no more than 25 students each. They are the same courses as offered on campus. Tuition is about the same as for on-campus instruction at the public institution, which can be close to $10,000 a year.

Massive open online courses are different. They are free and anyone can sign up, which means scores of thousands have done so, from around the world, for a single course offering.

Ray Schroeder is a professor of communications at U of I-Springfield and a nationally recognized expert on the topic of MOOCs. Indeed, he offered a MOOC recently on "online learning today and tomorrow." More than 2,700 students from 70 countries signed up.

If you want to try a U. of I. MOOC, you can go to and sign up free for a course on the Emancipation Proclamation that begins January 28.

UIS online was featured by the Ottawa Times on January 10, 2013.

Read the article online