|By Business Wire
|January 15, 2013 09:10 AM EST
Jose State University and Silicon Valley-based online education
Inc. have reached an agreement to develop a pilot program to be
called San Jose State University Plus, offering college classes for
credit to SJSU and non-SJSU students beginning in January 2013. Registration
begins today. The formal announcement will be made at a news
conference at 10 a.m. PST Jan. 15 at San Jose State. View a live stream
from the SJSU
The partnership will combine the knowledge and expertise of SJSU faculty
members with Udacity's cutting-edge online platform and pedagogy to work
together toward helping a greater percentage of students excel in their
chosen majors. This pilot purposely focuses on two math classes and one
statistics class that nearly every student must complete to succeed in
"As the public university that sends 8,000 graduates annually into the
Silicon Valley workforce, San Jose State University must and will take a
leading role in leveraging technology to transform higher ed with the
goal of making a college degree affordable and accessible to all," said
SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi.
The passage of Proposition 30 signaled renewed voter support for public
higher education in California. But limited public resources, coupled
with an ever growing need for college graduates to fuel the state's tech
economy, means educators must seek the most effective means to expand
access reflecting the California Master Plan for Higher Education’s
commitment to a college education for all who qualify.
This marks the first time that a broad and diverse range of students,
not just matriculated students, will have access to online college
classes for credit from an accredited university at a very affordable
price of $150 per course, about the same as a course at the
California Community Colleges.
The pilot's target population includes underserved groups such as high
school students who will earn college credit, waitlisted students at
California Community Colleges who would otherwise face out-of-state or
private options, and members of the armed forces and veterans. The
National Science Foundation will provide funding to support the
assessment of this groundbreaking effort.
“By providing engaging, accessible and affordable classes, we are
studying whether this pilot offers a new pathway to credit for students
currently shut out of the higher education system," said Udacity CEO and
Co-Founder Sebastian Thrun. "We have always pushed ourselves to improve
online learning technology to provide the very best higher education has
to offer to students everywhere, including students right here in
California. We have much to learn, but are excited by the potential this
Entry-Level Mathematics (Pre-Algebra), College Algebra and Elementary
Statistics are the three courses to be offered in this pilot. SJSU
faculty members working with Udacity designed and created all three
classes to include engaging video instruction interspersed with quizzes
and other interactive elements, as well as course mentors supporting
students throughout the course.
"This pilot is possible because of our extraordinary and dedicated
faculty members who care deeply about student learning and success, and
their willingness to explore new ways to teach students, especially
traditionally underserved students who aspire to college degrees and
beyond," said SJSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ellen
"Serving Silicon Valley, one of the most vibrant centers of innovation
in the nation, San Jose State is home to instructors who are innovators,
stepping up to team with Udacity," Provost Junn continued. "Together, we
will explore and evaluate, in a systematic way, how we can provide a
high- quality, interactive and exemplary online learning experience for
all students that is affordable, lends greater access and ensures
The pilot program will address and study a number of pressing questions
facing online learning including massive open online courses.
Distinctive features include the following:
SJSU faculty members will create and teach the courses in coordination
with Udacity, and will be the instructors of record throughout the
term. SJSU faculty members will carry the sole authority and
responsibility for assessing student learning. Each course will be
enriched with support provided by Udacity staff members and course
mentors, who will track, encourage and monitor students.
Three critical entry-level courses with high failure rates were
selected for this pilot. Revising these key classes to improve student
interest, engagement, motivation and learning should result in
multiple positive outcomes for later academic success.
In this pilot, student enrollment will be limited to 100 students per
course, with 50 SJSU students and 50 non-SJSU students. Priority
enrollment will be given to high school students, community college
students, members of the armed forces, veterans and waitlisted SJSU
students. All students will earn college credit.
This pilot will include the formal collection and analysis of student
learning data and faculty feedback to assess progress and mastery of
course learning objectives and outcomes. Faculty members will be
involved in this assessment by an external firm.
There will be no textbooks required for any of the courses as the
content will be embedded and self-contained online. Faculty members
may recommend optional open-source or free textbooks for students who
would like additional outside materials.
Human mentoring will be available via chat rooms, a helpline,
instructor-facilitated peer meetings and outreach when a student is
falling behind and needs more encouragement and support.
Exams will be proctored online, with no campus visits required.
Student identity authentication and compliance with all applicable
privacy laws will be ensured and protected. Accessibility and
compliance with all applicable laws for students with disabilities
will be addressed.
SJSU’s Next Generation Initiative
This effort is part of a campaign led by President Qayoumi, who argues
educational institutions urgently need new approaches to teaching and
assessing learning that are personalized, collaborative, engaging and
that relate to real-world, 21st-century problems. Learn more via the
president’s white paper “Reinventing
Public Higher Education: A Call to Action.”
"SJSU Plus represents the dawn of a new era in providing high-quality
college courses at an affordable price for anyone, anywhere, anytime,"
President Qayoumi said. "SJSU is proud to be a pioneer and trailblazer
with Udacity in this important initiative."
About San Jose State
San Jose State — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher
learning with 30,500 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the
California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus
anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.
Udacity is a social venture that seeks to bring accessible, engaging,
and effective higher education to the world. We believe that higher
education is a basic human right, and we seek to empower our students to
develop their skills in order to advance their education and careers.
Udacity has been at the forefront of developing new online pedagogy that
bridges education and employable skills with courses in Computer
Science, Mathematics, Programming, General Sciences, and
Entrepreneurship at www.Udacity.com
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