edX Targets Undergrad Education

The online platform will now offer stackable credentials toward bachelor’s degrees.

AFTER TESTING THE waters of stackable credentials with its Micro- Masters programs, the online education platform edX will now design stackable credentials that provide affordable pathways to full bachelor’s degrees. In January, edX announced the launch of its fully online MicroBachelors programs, designed for working adults without college degrees. Students can pursue a three-course MicroBachelors for US$500 to $1,500, depending on the program; upon completion, they also will earn credit from an edX partner university that they can apply toward a full bachelor’s degree.

The first two MicroBachelors programs are IT Career Framework offered by Western Governors University (WGU) based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Computer Science Fundamentals offered by New York University (NYU) in New York City. Credits from IT Career Framework will be recognized by WGU; credits for Computer Science Fundamentals will be recognized by Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, New Jersey, pending approval. Another program offered by Arizona State University in Tempe—Professional Writing—will soon be released.

In conjunction with these programs, edX is planning to create the MicroBachelors Program Skills Advisory Council, whose members will come from foundations, corporations, and academic institutions. The council will work to identify the types of core skills and learning pathways that will best prepare adult learners to contribute to a changing workforce.