The American Council on Education announced on Wednesday a project intended to make it easier for nontraditional students to earn four-year college degrees. Financed by a $1.86-million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the new program will create roughly 100 free or inexpensive general-education courses that will earn students as much as two years’ transfer credit at some 40 participating colleges.
Some of the courses already exist, while others are yet to be created. Some will be taught by accredited colleges, while others will be administered by “non-accredited education providers.” Students’ success in the program will be tracked.
“This project will serve as an incubator and ecosystem for alternative credit and encourage greater acceptance of such credit by higher-education institutions and systems,” the council’s vice president for education attainment and innovation, Cathy Sandeen, said in a news release.