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Free Online Courses Now Worth Credit

Since 2010, the Saylor Foundation has been developing a catalogue of free, self-paced online college courses. However, since the group is not accredited, completing these courses did not translate into college credit.

Until now.

On Wednesday, Saylor announced a new partnership with online course-provider StraigherLine. Starting this fall, students will be able to access the free learning material via the Saylor Foundation, and then enroll at StraighterLine to complete an exam. After passing the exam, students will receive a recommended credit from the American Council on Education (ACE). Full StraighterLine programs will also be available to students, using the free course material from Saylor.

“We understand the fact that to some students, the pure acquisition of knowledge or the certificate proving their competency isn’t enough,” Alana Harrington, director of the Saylor Foundation, said. “Credit is a form of currency today.” George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College have also been brought into the scheme, providing students an easy method of transferring and confirming their credits.