Free online courses enable high schoolers to explore possible majors and preview college-level academics, experts say
By Jordan Friedman
Mahir Jethanandani’s California high school offered only a few classes related to business and finance – disciplines he was interested in exploring. So, he turned to massive open online courses, or MOOCs, offered through Coursera to learn on his own.
“It came with an extension of knowledge and fundamental concepts that I felt improved my understanding of subjects that I claimed that I loved” but didn’t have much exposure to, says the 18-year-old. MOOCs also led him to explore other disciplines he was curious about, including law and neuroscience.
Now a rising sophomore at the University of California—Berkeley, Jethanandani plans to triple major in economics, electrical engineering and computer science, and statistics.
MOOCs have been controversial, but these online classes enable curious high schoolers to explore a range of disciplines for free without having to commit to staying enrolled, or for a low cost if they want a verified certificate.
Kat Cohen, CEO and founder of IvyWise, an education consulting company in New York City, says a high school student’s decision to take MOOCs for credit versus auditing for free varies depending on his or her individual commitments and goals.
[ Full article available at U.S. News & World Report: http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2016-05-12/3-reasons-to-try-out-moocs-before-applying-to-college ]