All-Access Bachelor’s Degrees

2U and Coursera partner with universities to offer interactive online bachelor’s degrees tailored to adult learners.

All Access Bachelor's Degrees

A SPATE OF online undergraduate offerings is coming to market, all tailored to the needs of nontraditional adult learners. Earlier this year, edX announced that it would offer three-course MicroBachelors programs that can be stacked toward full bachelor’s degrees. Now online education platforms 2U and Coursera are following suit with their own undergraduate offerings.

2U has partnered with the University of London and the London School of Economics (LSE) to convert seven of the two schools’ existing correspondence-based distance learning programs into a new suite of interactive online bachelor’s degrees. Among the programs launching this year are bachelor of science degrees in economics, economics and management, data science and management, and business and management.

Designed for adult learners, these programs will cost students approximately US$26,000 and should take between three and four years to complete. Graduates will earn degrees from the University of London.

Coursera will work with the University of North Texas in Denton to deliver an online bachelor of applied arts and sciences (B.A.A.S.). This will be the second bachelor’s degree offered on Coursera—the first is a bachelor’s in computer science offered through the University of London.

Students in the program can pursue concentrations in administration, organizational supervision, social services, hospitality, media innovation, consumer behavior, or information technology. The B.A.A.S. is designed to prepare graduates for careers in business, nonprofit organizations, and community engagement.

Students can earn credit toward the information technology concentration if they complete the Google IT Support Professional Certificate offered on Coursera. Students will pay US$330 per credit hour—or less than $15,000 for the 45-hour degree.

Launching this fall, the B.A.A.S. degree is tailored to nontraditional students—this includes the estimated 36 million Americans who have earned some college credit but have not finished their degrees. The program also is designed for veterans and active-duty military personnel. Its format builds in the same support, interactivity, and career services as the university’s on-campus students receive, explains Jennifer Cowley, UNT’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. The objective, she says, is “to ensure [online students] are set up for success post-graduation.”