Food for Thought Friday: More Changes in Higher Education

by Kristie Burk

DASD’s vision statement in its District-level Comprehensive Plan says, “For our future, we want our students to be career and/or college ready upon graduation.” In the same document, one of our shared values states that we believe that “every [DASD] high school graduate will be college and/or career ready.”

If one of our goals as a district is to prepare our students for college, it is vital that we understand what their college experience will be like and what skills they will need when they get there. For example, we know that higher education is moving to more blended and online classes and students who can successfully learn online will have huge advantages.

Some proof of these changes came on Wednesday when Arizona State University announced a new program that will shake up the way students experience college. Through a partnership with EdX, the university will offer freshmen the opportunity to earn full college-credit for the year by completing a series of completely online courses. Students can use these courses to jump start their college careers at ASU or to transfer to other universities.

Why is this program unique?

  1. There is no admissions process – so no transcripts, essays or standardized test scores are required for students to earn a full year of credit.
  2. Students can start earning the credits while they’re still in high school or while they’re working.
  3. Students do not have to pay to take the courses.
  4. Students can choose to earn ASU credit for the course by paying $200 per credit after they’ve completed the course.

What do you think about the changing landscape of higher ed? Let us know at


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