Gen-Ed course series $50 per tuition hour
(Courtesy of The University of Akron)
The University of Akron is piloting a series of general education courses at significantly reduced cost—$50 tuition charge per credit hour. That rate is half the average rate offered by area community colleges, and is designed to provide students with easier access to a more affordable four-year university degree.
At its meeting in April, UA’s Board of Trustees endorsed the initiative to offer specific “GenEd Core” courses and passed a resolution asking the Chancellor of the Board of Regents to approve the discounted rate. Board chair Richard W. Pogue said the initiative “is part of our vision to be the great public university this region deserves by providing a highly valued undergraduate education that is extremely affordable and supports students’ progress to degrees.”
The goal is to offer courses that are vital academic starting points in liberal arts, science and mathematics. Each discounted course will be designed for a “blended learning” experience, involving online, classroom and experiential learning elements. Students enrolled in these pilot blended courses will receive support from faculty members and success coaches to assist them in achieving key milestones in learning.
Core classes will be offered at $50 tuition per credit hour, providing students easier access to a more affordable four-year university degree. Courses offered this fall are English Composition I, Earth Science, Introduction to Sociology, Basic Statistics, Principles of Microeconomics, and Exploring Music: Bach to Rock. More information is available at www.uakron.edu/save. Registration is now open.
“We believe the very best learning environment brings technology into the student experience in innovative and engaging ways,” said UA President Scott L. Scarborough. “With the recent arrival of new Vice Provost and Executive Dean Todd Rickel—who comes to UA with extensive online education and satellite campus experience—we are well-positioned to deliver new learning models to serve students across broad geographies. This initiative is just the first step in a strategy that allows us to be more nimble and responsive to student and community needs.”
“We will be working collaboratively with faculty to migrate existing campus courses into a blended learning, highly engaging format,” said Rickel. “Each course will have components that provide evidence students can think critically about these subject areas and move on to succeed in more advanced courses.”
Scarborough added, “We are being responsive to Gov. Kasich’s call for more affordable and flexible delivery models in higher education, recognizing the competition posed by online innovators like Western Governors University. Though the classroom experience still has significant value, we must offer more learning options to be competitive.”