If your teen is age 18 or will be shortly, they may be interested in the free college courses from OnlineDegreecom. These courses transfer into a small number of partners schools that many of you may already be targeting! Excelsior, Grand Canyon, University of Maryland Global, Thomas Edison, Colorado State University Global, and others.
Age 18+ only
Online Degree courses are completely free. If you would like to attempt college credit, you must first complete the course (you can’t skip any sections) can then you’ll have the option of paying $9 to take an online proctoring via webcam. You must pass the exam to earn college credit.
This company launched in 2018 and I’ve asked many times about opening the courses to those under age 18 (Technically you could *take* the course, but it wouldn’t be worth college credit) but so far they remained closed to minors. Many of their courses are based on the course content from The Great Courses.
The format: create a free online account (each person must have an account). You’ll add free courses to your account, and begin when ready. When you launch your course, you’ll be prompted to watch the main lecture (about 30 minutes) and then a few shorter activities or videos (usually less than 20 minutes). Upon completion of that unit’s activities, you’ll take the unit quiz, which closes out the unit. You must complete every unit before accessing the final exam.
Jennifer’s comments: If you have a student who does better with small chunks of learning instead of trying to study for one large exam (CLEP, AP, etc.) then you should consider this format. Since the quizzes are based on the lectures of each unit, my teens have had no trouble at all scoring well on the quizzes. It’s worth noting that while there isn’t a lockdown browser to prevent you from googling answers during a quiz, I have found that the answers aren’t really searchable in a traditional sense, they are tightly linked to the videos. An example question may be something like this “which car company was used as an example of targeted marketing?”
These courses are worth college credit because of evaluation from NCCRS.
The National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) is a third party credit evaluator that evaluates learning that occurs outside of a college. Only when a provider has a partnership with a college should this college credit be considered transferable. Unlike ACE/Credly, NCCRS college credit is held directly with the provider. HS4CC List of NCCRS Partners
NCCRS credit does not transfer everywhere. If you’re not planning to use one of their partner colleges for a degree, chances are that you won’t get these credits to count elsewhere. Since many of our more popular colleges are on the list, it’s a good idea to add these courses to your plan once you have a target college picked out. If your teen won’t be 18 until they finish high school, NCCRS credits don’t change them into transfer students, so these credits can be earned ANYTIME.
*NOTE* in 2022 every course below was recommended for college credit by NCCRS and you’ll see almost all of these courses on the partnership lists. It is possible, though not guaranteed, that some partner colleges may still award college credit for the currently “not recommended” courses. In either case, it doesn’t hurt to ask your potential target college just to check! If you took a course while it was worth college credit (2022 and before) there is a good chance that it will be accepted.