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Kaplan University Opens 'First of its Kind' College

DAVENPORT, IA — Kaplan University has announced the opening of the Open College at Kaplan University (OC@KU) a new, flexible and highly affordable collegiate model that supports formal and informal learning as part of degree attainment.

“Throughout our 77-year history, Kaplan University has innovated to meet the needs of students,” says Dr. Wade Dyke, president of Kaplan University. “OC@KU is designed for a new generation of learning, leveraging the growing world of open education.”

Featuring monthly subscription-based tuition, OC@KU extends the current open courses offered by Kaplan University to students who are interested in seeking a degree, as well as responds to the increasing accessibility of other open-learning resources. The college is geared toward adult learners interested in a highly flexible degree and who have prior learning experience or college-level credits. Students in the college may complete a Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies (BSPR). A typical learner with prior credit could complete the BSPR for about $10,000.

“OC@KU is a learning concierge service that adds a new dimension to higher education, removing the barriers between career advancement and education, between formal and informal learning,” says Dr. Peter Smith, founding president of the college. “OC@KU encourages learners to chart their own paths using assessments to recognize learning, however acquired, for academic and career value.” Dr. Smith also founded the Community College of Vermont and California State University at Monterey Bay.

OC@KU encourages learners to:

  • Assess for their prior learning and college credit.
  • Define their learning goal in academic and career terms.
  • Identify the remaining credits needed.
  • Find the open education resources that, coupled with OC@KU’s support and assessment, will fill the gap toward the degree.

“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 College.

OC@KU Strategic Partnerships
OC@KU has partnered with the Open Education Consortium (OEC), a worldwide community of hundreds of higher education institutions and associated organizations committed to advancing open education, and StraighterLine, a way for students to earn low-priced high quality college credit. Students who take one of the 28,000 open courses through OEC or one of the American Council on Education (ACE) accredited courses at StraighterLine can apply up to 75 percent of these learnings toward the bachelor’s program.

“OC@KU has developed strategic partnerships with key organizations that benefit our students by providing courses to help them learn and seek a degree in a way they are comfortable with and that is cost efficient,” says Susan Huggins, director, OC@KU.

Enrolling with OC@KU
Students at OC@KU create their own path to reaching their goals through a variety of educational materials and courses. This path begins by establishing an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) and completing regular or open online courses, including those available through Kaplan University. The monthly subscription-based tuition includes advising and continual review of the ILP.

About Kaplan University
Kaplan University offers a different school of thought for higher education. It strives to help adult students unlock their talent by providing a practical, student-centered education that prepares them for careers in some of the fastest-growing industries. The university, which has its main campus in Davenport, IA, and its headquarters in Chicago, is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org). Kaplan University serves approximately 44,500 online and campus-based students. The university has 13 campuses in Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, Maryland, Maine and Wisconsin, and Kaplan University Learning Centers in Maryland and Missouri.

Kaplan University is part of Kaplan Higher Education LLC and Kaplan, Inc., a leading international provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Kaplan’s higher education institutions serves approximately 61,000 students online and through 56 campus-based schools across the U.S. and offer a spectrum of academic opportunities, from certificates and diplomas to graduate and professional degrees, including a juris doctor degree. Kaplan serves students of all ages through a wide array of offerings including higher education, test preparation, professional training and programs for kids in grades K-12. Kaplan, Inc. is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company and its largest division.

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