Participating universities are part of an initiative using alternative credit courses to help nontraditional learners.

alternative-creditA group 111 of alternative credit course offerings will be part of a new initiative to help nontraditional learners earn college degrees.

The American Council on Education’s (ACE) Alternative Credit Project features low- or no-cost, lower-division general education online courses that were submitted by a group of non-accredited course providers chosen to participate in the Alternative Credit Project.

The 40 colleges, universities and systems taking part in the project—two- and four-year, public and private—each have agreed to grant credit for a large number of these courses, which include disciplines such as business, critical thinking and writing, foreign language, humanities, mathematics and natural and physical sciences.

The 7 non-accredited providers selected to join the project include: Ed4Online; edX; JumpCourse; Pearson Learning Solutions; Saylor Academy; Sophia Learning; StraighterLine. A list of the courses can be found here. Students can select courses and determine which colleges and universities accept specific courses by visiting

“This is an important step for an initiative that already has significantly increased our body of knowledge about the most effective ways to increase the number of Americans able to earn a college degree or credential by using education, training and life experiences gained outside a formal classroom,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad.

“Nontraditional students who often are balancing multiple family and career demands now know where they can turn to take courses that will help them reduce the time and expense required to gain a postsecondary degree or credential at a number of outstanding institutions,” said Deborah Seymour, ACE assistant vice president for education attainment and innovation.

ACE will be collecting anonymized data from participating institutions regarding the number of credits each institution accepts through this project as well as progress and success rates of students who transfer in consortium-approved courses.

The project is made possible by a $1.89 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Laura Ascione