edX announced the launch of its MicroBachelors programs with the support of the Yidan Prize Foundation. Anant Agarwal is the Founder and CEO of edX, and also the laureate of the Yidan Prize for Education Development 2018. MicroBachelors programs provide online undergraduate-level credentials which will transform the future of work and higher education.
“edX and the Yidan Prize Foundation share the mission to create a better world through education, and was the catalyst for awarding edX the Yidan Prize for Education Development in 2018. Their recognition of the need for MicroBachelors programs, the first credit-backed, stackable credential that is career-relevant and industry-endorsed, underscores the global talent crisis that all industries, countries, and leaders are facing due to the future of work, and how international groups need to come together to address this challenge.” – Anant Agarwal, edX Founder and CEO.
According to edX’s vision, MicroBachelors programs are designed for adults who cannot afford a traditional bachelor’s degree and cannot spare time to study after work, but believe they need additional education to advance in their careers. MicroBachelors programs are set to be affordable, priced between US$500 and US$1500, and can be completed fully online, while providing a pathway to a full bachelor’s degree.
edX’s MicroBachelors programs are backed by credit. Once earned, learners can apply credit from one of edX’s university credit partners toward a full bachelor’s degree.
The first MicroBachelors programs are: IT Career Framework from Western Governors University (WGU), which is recognized for credit by WGU; Computer Science Fundamentals from New York University (NYU), which is pending recognition for credit by Thomas Edison State University (TESU). Additionally, Arizona State University will be offering Professional Writing with further offerings to be announced. edX will be announcing additional MicroBachelors programs in future.
Along with the Yidan Prize Foundation, Boeing, Lumina Foundation, Truist Foundation (formerly SunTrust Foundation), Walmart, and Jeremy M. and Joyce E. Wertheimer Foundation have provided funding support for MicroBachelors programs. This diverse group of supporters recognizes the importance of addressing the global workforce education challenges that companies and workers face.
“Technologies such as AI are increasingly changing the workforce, so the nature of education will have to evolve accordingly,” said Guillermo Miranda, Vice President and Head of IBM Corporate Social Responsibility. “To give people the right skills and credentials for in-demand positions, and to meet employees where they are, stakeholders now need to offer a spectrum of resources for online and in-person instruction, as well as immersive, experiential learning. MicroBachelors programs are innovative as they can play a valuable role in these offerings.”
In addition, edX is also launching the MicroBachelors programs Skills Advisory Council — a groundbreaking group of select foundations, corporations, and academic institutions that will work to identify the core skills and learning pathways that MicroBachelors programs should deliver on. To learn more about MicroBachelors programs on edX, visit www.edx.org/microbachelors.