Is the traditional college doomed? More and more people think so. Massively open online courses (MOOCs) are threatening to shake up higher education by bringing primarily non-credit courses from college professors to the world at no cost. The California state senate, however, has just passed a bill to encourage its universities to develop MOOCs and other online courses for credit.
Further evidence of rapid change is the recently announced partnership between Georgia Tech and MOOC provider Udacity to offer a master of computer science degree for just $7,000. Once fully implemented, the program will be able to educate up to 10,000 students a year and will have its set-up costs underwritten by AT&T to the tune of $2,000,000. This shows the importance to industry of training students in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Forecasting the future in such tumultuous times is risky, but I believe the demise of the traditional college, even for STEM education, has been exaggerated.