Have a computer, get a degree

By Anthony Sestito
September 9, 2012

In the recent weeks, Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) announced that they will will be joining a new nonprofit partne≠≠≠rship to offer free online courses. Those who complete these online courses will receive normal classroom grades as well as a certificate of mastery, but will not receive any official credit. The free online courses are part of many plans to lower the costs of colleges all across the world. The plan is to leap over all of the major obstacles that a student may have trying to enroll in college. With free online courses, you can forget about signing up for financial aid and haggling with the accreditation agencies.

With one click of the mouse, you are enrolled in a free higher education program that is tailored to your specific needs and guarantees you a degree in the course you are in.People who take free online classes should be receiving credit where credit is due. If they are taking the online courses, the same courses that a full time college student is taking for credits, they should be treated the same and get credit. Online courses are a great way to get an education on your own time. Now that Harvard and M.I.T. are offering free courses online, this should be offered at more colleges and institutions everywhere in the world. Let’s face it, we are all not made of money but we all want to be well educated. These free online courses are not only easy for students but also reach the needs of stay at home parents who want to get an education, and support their families.

You can go to class and take care of your children in the same house. It could not get any easier. Not only will free online classes benefit parents but it also opens new doors for many cultures to be able to get a free higher education. Bringing cultures together through an online class could help us as a nation have a better understanding of one lives and cultures. Talking to some of the students half way around the world about their opinions on class topics, creates friendships, the same friendships you would make in a regular college environment.

Sean Decatur, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oberlin College states, “The platform is not intended as a replacement for contact time between on-campus student and faculty, but rather as a tool for enhancing these interactions.”

Students who take these courses should receive credit for the classes that they are enrolled in so that they can transfer the credits over and graduate college with their intended degree. Free online classes can help make the world more educated, and can lower racial barriers. We are all categorized into three wealth groups, the upper class, middle class and the lower class. It is time to stop being judged by how much money you make. If you want an education why shouldn’t you be able to get it? The free higher education classes will put a stop to this and make it fair for anyone in the world to become educated.

Colleges and Institutions such as Harvard and M.I.T. should reward their online students with class credits. They are still doing the same work as full time students, why should they be cheated out of credits that they put time and effort into. Where should we draw the line on who get credit and who does not?

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Anthony Sestito

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