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San jose State U To Offer Online Course for Students, Non-Students

San Jose State University will develop a pilot program, dubbed San Jose State University Plus, to offer online credit-bearing courses to students and non-students.

The pilot will focus on two math classes and a statistics class "that nearly every student must complete to succeed in college," according to information released by the school, and will target "underserved groups such as high school students who will earn college credit, waitlisted students at California community colleges who would otherwise face out-of-state or private options, and members of the armed forces and veterans."

Priority enrollment will be given to students from those groups. Enrollment will also be capped at 100 students for each course, with 50 coming from SJSU's student body and the other 50 spots going to students not enrolled at SJSU.

"By providing engaging, accessible and affordable classes, we are studying whether this pilot offers a new pathway to credit for students currently shut out of the higher education system," said Udacity CEO and Co-Founder Sebastian Thrun, in a prepared statement. "We have always pushed ourselves to improve online learning technology to provide the very best higher education has to offer to students everywhere, including students right here in California. We have much to learn, but are excited by the potential this partnership represents."

The courses, Entry Level Mathematics, College Algebra, and Elementary Statistics, will be offered through the Udacity platform for $150 each. The company also helped SJSU faculty develop the courses, which will include video instruction, quizzes, interactive elements, and course mentors provided by Udacity.

Other features of the courses include:

  • Embedded online content instead of textbooks;
  • Support through chat rooms, help-lines, and peer meetings and other outreach for struggling students; and
  • Online exams.

"As the public university that sends 8,000 graduates annually into the Silicon Valley workforce, San Jose State University must and will take a leading role in leveraging technology to transform higher ed with the goal of making a college degree affordable and accessible to all," said SJSU President Mohammad Qayoumi, in a prepared statement.

San Jose State University serves approximately 30,500 undergraduate and graduate students. More information about San Jose State University is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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