Michael K. Clifford, a longtime powerhouse in the for-profit college industry, has launched a website offering 27 courses that can lead to college credits, similar to many massive open online courses (MOOCs).
For $299 per course, students of Clifford’s unaccredited, not-for-profit DreamDegree program can earn credits toward a college degree, joining a growing list of similar services provided through MOOCs and MOOC-like platforms.
The American Council on Education (ACE) reviewed every Dream Degree course offering and gave the go-ahead to make each class credit bearing, meaning students could potentially transfer the Dream Degree credits to another institution.
DreamDegree students will receive guidance from a Personal Education Coach who is charged with helping them identify a field of study and transfer credits to another college or university.
“Our Coaches smooth out the confusing enrollment process for working adults giving the student a convenient system to have schools compete for them,” Clifford said in an announcement. In a DreamDegree online video, Clifford claims six in 10 online college students aren’t happy with their experience.
“I think it’s death by beestings when it comes to figuring out how much it costs to go to college,” Clifford said, citing hidden costs of traditional and web-based courses.
Clifford, before the launching of DreamDegree, was known for converting small colleges into for-profit institutions designed for working adults and other nontraditional students. The for-profit college industry has waged a well-publicized battle with federal regulators who point to high dropout rates and skyrocketing college costs and school loan debt among for-profit students.