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The Saylor Academy: Free Online College Courses

It’s hard to avoid the news that college costs are at an all-time high, making higher education unattainable to many. However, The Saylor Academy, run by the nonprofit Saylor Foundation, offers free high-quality college courses.

Saylor Academy’s Home Page.

How to Begin

There are no entrance requirements beyond a desired to learn. All courses are free. Though they are non-accredited, and cannot lead to a degree, a small number of courses can be taken for credit, which can be transferred to one of eleven partner colleges. Since all the courses are self-paced, learners with families, jobs and other commitments can fit their studies into a schedule of their choosing.

The site is well-organized and it’s easy to get started.

Reviewing the site’s Getting Started and FAQ pages will provide you with a solid overview of how to begin studying.

Common questions are addressed on the FAQ page.

Choosing Your Courses

Creating an ePortfolio needs to be done first, as that’s where you will enroll in courses, track your progress and view your transcript.

An ePortfolio is necessary to help you keep track of your studies.

Currently, over 300 courses are available. The vast majority of them are college-level, but there are a handful of K-12 math and English courses. While the large number of possibilities might overwhelm a new online learner, the courses organized in a variety of ways, making the process more manageable.
You may want to begin by examining the two major course categories, Select courses and Legacy courses. Select course are regularly reviewed and undergo maintenance and improvement as needed. Legacy courses are not reviewed and maintained, which means they may have broken links and out-of-date info. Both sets of courses were developed by educators and professionals.
Courses are further arranged into Pathways. Students who seek a structured course of study will find it helpful to examine these. The Foundational Courses Pathway is intended to provide students with a strong base of general knowledge by focusing on core academic subjects. It includes liberal arts courses and STEM courses, as well as skills-focused classes in resume writing, professional etiquette and interviewing skills.

Foundation courses help students build a broad base of general knowledge.

The Full Curriculum Pathway is structured similar to a college major, with two options: Business Administration and Computer Science. Each program of study begins with a handful of foundational courses, which should be completed successfully first, followed by core courses and finally electives.

Two Pathways are similar to traditional college majors.

Students who are already working and wish to pursue continuing education may do so by choosing from the Career-Related courses. These courses, which are centered on Information Technology, Management and Business Support Services, give learners the opportunity to stay up-to-date in their chosen career fields.

People already in the workforce can select continuing education courses.

The college-credit pathway allows students to earn up to 34 college credits, which can be transferred to an accredited partner college, and the Partner Programs Pathway organizes the courses based on which partner college will accept the credits.

Course Structure

When you’ve chosen a course and are ready to begin studying, you’ll first be presented with information about the purpose of the course, learning outcomes and course requirements. Courses are organized into units.

Each course is organized into several units.

All courses culminate in a multiple-choice final exam. All courses contain a mix of readings, video lectures and online tutorials.

A multiple choice exam is the final requirement for each course.

All students, regardless of interest, are expected to read the Saylor Handbook, which includes background about the organization, additional information about the different components of the site, and details about transferring credits to partner colleges.

All students should read the Saylor Handbook.

Additional Resources

Discussion forums give you the chance to chat with fellow students, and a frequently-updated blog provides news about.

An active discussion forum covers a range of topics.

The Saylor Academy offers self-directed learners with a multitude of options for pursuing online higher education.

Written April 21, 2015 by Tracy Derrel


User Reviews & Comments

02/05/2018 Wilson Simwanza
I want to do management in edu or in itc

11/23/2015 Ibo
Actually you can't get online cuosres until you enroll in a local program. Depending on what degree you want. You can enroll in a tech fast course for LPN in one year. An Associate RN in two years. Or a full degree in a four year program. You can get any of the lesser degrees and bridge online to a higher all require actual interms. I suggest speaking to nurses in a Geriatric Facility they can tell you of programs approved in your State. Good Luck we need you!

11/08/2015 thabo
do you get a certificate after completion. is the certificate accredited. kind regards thabo banda

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