You can find just about everything on YouTube these days, even a direct pathway to accredited college courses that can earn you real-life class credit.
YouTube announced an impressive expansion of its accessible education initiative Study Hall in collaboration with Arizona State University and Crash Course, the popular YouTube channel of authors and brothers Hank and John Green. The joint venture is "a new approach that demystifies the college process while creating an affordable and accessible onramp to earning college credit," YouTube wrote in its announcement, detailing the opportunity for online learners to work toward transferable course credits with fewer barriers than traditional college programs.
While all Study Hall videos are free to watch on YouTube, individuals can also enroll in associated courses created by Crash Course and Arizona State University educators to earn credits and build a transcript. The current offering of four "College Foundations" courses will begin on March 7, 2023, and covers postsecondary basics, such as English composition, college math, U.S. history, and human communication. Enrollment fees are US$25 per course, with an added US$400 registration fee to receive credits. Those who sign up before March 7, 2023, can register for US$350 per course.
According to YouTube, the number of credits that will be accessible through Study Hall once it is fully implemented will amount to an entire first year of study at most colleges, and the price is "less than one-third of the average course cost at a public four-year university." Classes can be retaken as many times as the individual needs, and enrollment doesn't require a minimum GPA or even an application. Eligible students who wish to apply their Study Hall experience toward a degree may pursue admission to ASU through its Earned Admissions program or transfer to any institution that accepts credits from Arizona State University.
Katie Kurtz, head of learning at YouTube, told Mashable that YouTube's goal is to act as a mediary between higher education and the general public. "At YouTube, we want to empower learners to go further by breaking down barriers to high impact learning experiences. A postsecondary education is still one of the best drivers of economic and social mobility, yet the path to higher education has too many barriers," she explained.
"We want to help address this urgent challenge by tapping into our endlessly creative and passionate learning creator community. With 10 years of experience delivering compelling and engaging educational content, we knew Crash Course, paired with ASU's world class faculty would be a dynamic partnership to address this challenge."
The Crash Course channel was created in 2012 by the Green brothers, known for being early, formative creators on both YouTube and Tumblr. The channel has churned out a decade's-worth of educational content spanning a range of subjects related to high school Advanced Placement and early college courses, from world history to psychology and even intellectual property law. Both of the Green brothers are now mainstays of the TikTok For You Page as well, cementing an even greater reach for their quick and simple educational videos.
Hank Green posted to Twitter to discuss the latest educational venture, writing, "There’s 1.75 trillion dollars of student debt in America held by around 43 million Americans. This seems like a...kinda bad thing, but it is actually worse than it sounds... 40 [percent] of those 43 million people do not have, and will not get, a degree."
Green said he and his production company, Complexly, sought out help from Google and Arizona State University to identify the main barriers to getting degrees in the hands of students, which included costs, the complexity of college admissions systems, and the difficulty of many college courses for those who didn't receive a robust high school education. "With some funding and a lot of hard work, we started to build 'Study Hall' with the goal that it help lower these barriers."
Along with the new course offerings, Study Hall also provides informational content on understanding and navigating the world of postsecondary education, including a Crash Course series on "How To College" and fast guides to common concepts and areas of study, hosted by Green and other educators.
The program is slated to expand to 12 available courses by January 2025. Interested students can enroll on the Study Hall website.
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