The University of Illinois, Champaign, is working with the massive open online course (MOOC) platform Coursera to launch a low-cost, online MBA program. Students who enroll in MBA should be able to complete an entire degree for about $20,000, or around $30,000 less than the on-campus version.
The content will be available to anyone at no charge, just like other MOOCs offered by Coursera. Students in the program will pay about $1,000 per course, but also receive greater support from faculty and access to online discussions with other students enrolled in the program, according to a report in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
In addition to the degree track, the Illinois plan allows students to earn certification every time they finish three courses. The idea behind what is being called “stackable credentials” is students might be able to use the credentials with potential employers.
The program was designed to meet the university’s land-grant mission of improving access, as well as to create a new stream of revenue for the institution. It will be limited to 200 students in the pilot stage.
“This is our 100th year for the College of Business and we’ve been thinking about our land grant,” Raj Echambadi, associate dean for outreach and engagement, told The Chronicle. “At the end of the day, we are about democratizing information.”