Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Never Stop Learning with Free Online College Courses

by M. J. Joachim
I’ve always enjoyed learning, regardless of the setting. When I graduated from San Jose State University with my degree some 20+ years ago, my college goals were satisfied well enough. It was time to focus on my young and growing family; thoughts of returning to college were and have remained pretty much non-existent.

It’s not exactly like I want to go back and listen to professors give lectures every week. Time for such things has fallen by the way side, and hasn’t been a top priority in recent years at all.

Learning, however, is another story altogether. Last summer, I looked up all sorts of free online college courses to take, many from very reputable schools like MIT, Harvard and Stanford.

The catch, like we didn’t know there’d be one…

Text books cost a fortune!

Each of the courses I found was offered in previous semesters, some dating rather far back. Students could read lecture notes, watch videos, download required information and documents and study required reading. Depending on the curriculum, they could also take exams. The entire system seemed rather clunky to me, especially when I got to the part about purchasing class materials – namely textbooks, which could run as much as hundreds of dollars each. 

There was one class I was really interested in taking. I never actually did, because the program was so difficult to access and the book was almost impossible to find. When I did, the price didn’t seem worth it, considering how much I was already struggling with the online program itself.

Today, however, I found a different type of online learning…

I’m referring to Education Portal Academy.

I only watched the overview video, so I’m not completely sure what this is all about yet. What I do know is there are hundreds of college courses (all free of charge for the taking), taught by instructors with Master and Doctorate degrees, covering all sorts of topics worth investigating.

Resource material is vital to writers! Seems like taking free online college courses, described as brief and highly engaging, is a fabulous place to find valuable information. Apparently, you can even earn college credit for taking the courses. All you need to do is pass a CLEP exam, when you’re done.

Here’s to higher education, everyone!

That’s all for now, good peopleJ Wishing you every success with your writing!

M. J.

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Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons, Public Domain