The road to earning a college degree without breaking the bank continues to be paved by innovators in the world of higher education. While online schools like Mount Washington College have led the way in offering students low-cost degree programs in the past, a new venture dubbed “Open College” from Kaplan University takes innovation one step further.
A New Kind of Degree Program
Kaplan University has announced the launch of OC@KU (Open College at Kaplan University), a subscription-based college degree program catering to the credit needs of each individual student. This is a great fit for those adult learners who have some college credit but no degree. OC@KU will provide assessment opportunities including the assessment of prior work and life experience in addition to open resources needed to earn a Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies (BSPR).
“The college’s goal is to help students work toward earning a degree by using the expanded availability of open resources along with Kaplan University’s faculty, courses, and assessments,” says Dr. Drew Ross, dean of the new college.
[Learn more about how Kaplan helps students document prior learning for college credit.]
How It Works
Through the OC@KU affordable adult degree program, students will earn credit hours by enrolling in either Kaplan University courses or in free online courses from strategic providers that Kaplan has partnered with. This innovative partnership model gives OC@KU students access to more than 28,000 free online courses. While Kaplan University will charge a $100 fee to assess credit for each of these courses, this represents a significant savings over traditional per-credit-hour fees. Kaplan will allow up to 75 percent of the bachelor degree credits to come from free resources, making OC@KU the leading accredited institute of higher education in accepting free online courses for credit.
With a monthly subscription fee of $195, assessment fees, and a $371-per-credit charge covering a final six-credit capstone course, the Chronicle of Higher Education estimates the BSPR degree will cost students somewhere between $9,500 for those with some prior college credit and $15,000 for those with none.
Another significant aspect of the OC@KU program is the Individual Learning Plan (ILP) that each student will develop with their advisor. OC@KU advisors help students identify their learning goals and map out the best plan to reach them using a combination of Kaplan courses, free courses, and prior-learning credit. In this respect, Dr. Peter Smith, founding president of the college, says, “OC@KU is a learning concierge service that adds a new dimension to higher education.” OC@KU students will save money by taking advantage of Kaplan’s cost-effective partnerships, speed-to-degree assessments, and expansive online resources.
Chart your Own Path
OC@KU encourages adult learners take these 4 steps to earn a Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies:
- Document prior learning to be assessed for college credit.
- Complete an ILP in order to define learning goals in academic and career terms.
- Identify the remaining credits needed to earn a degree.
- Find the open education resources that, coupled with OC@KU’s support and assessment, will fill the gap toward the degree.