Rochester, N.Y. - Ten of the finest colleges in the United States will soon offer for-credit courses online. Initially it would be for undergraduate students with the possibility of one day opening up these classes to anyone interested in enrolling according to Robert Clark, dean of the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Rochester.
The ten school consortium calls this exploratory program “Semester Online” and is working with a company, 2U, that has four years of experience developing for-credit online courses.
"It's interesting,” University of Rochester student Blake Harriman said of the idea. “I think it might just have to go there considering how ubiquitous the internet and online things are becoming."
Organizers hope to begin in 2013 with at least one course from each of the ten schools available to undergraduate students at each school. Students from one university would have the opportunity to enroll in a course taught by a professor from another university.
In the future it could offer the opportunity for students studying abroad or at home working summer jobs to continue to earn college credits towards their degree.
"I was inactive for a semester and I went to Austria and it would've been so useful if I had been able to take a summer class there,” said University of Rochester student Jess Moore. “That would've benefited me now because now I'm playing catch-up."
Another feature attractive to some students could be the unique courses that are currently only available on certain college campuses or taught by specific professors.
"We don't have an extremely large campus so other classes (that) could be offered at other campuses could be really cool,” University of Rochester student Jess Moore said. “I found super-awesome classes here in like random little new sections that have been totally fantastical, that I never would've thought of before."
The universities currently part of this consortium are:
University of Rochester
-The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
-University of Notre Dame
-Wake Forest University
-Washington University in St. Louis