The Internet's first free university that will help students obtain college credit by taking well-recognized proficiency exams is now available to all, according to Jack C. Star, founder and director of the Free University Project. Guides to over 30 units of college courses, the equivalent of the Freshman year, can be found at the Free University website: http://www.freeuniv.com.
"The Internet is now fulfilling its promise as an important, and innovative, avenue of instruction," says Star. "For the past several years professors at colleges and universities around the world have posted their lectures on the Internet. The Free University Project links these valuable resources with on-line study guides and Project developed pages to help self-directed students receive college credits by taking CLEP (College Level Examination Program) exams. These exams are accepted for credit at over 2800 colleges and universities."
The first set of course guides include: English Composition, American Government, American History, American Literature, Psychology, Sociology, and Economics. A second set, to be posted during the summer, includes: Western Civilization, Humanities, English Literature, Natural Sciences, and Biology, as well as resource material for French, German and Spanish.
CLEP exams provide a meaningful way to reduce the high costs of college, notes Star. "Exams for three to six units of college credit are typically under $50." Students can even take the exams without being enrolled at any school. They can study at their own pace and their own time.
"In addition to reducing costs, college students have used CLEP exams to gain greater flexibility over their class schedules, and make dead time, summers and vacations more productive," says Star.
The Free University Project guides can also benefit high school students taking Advanced Placement classes; returning students (or those in the military) who have some college and can work towards a degree as time is available; those who are home bound and unable to attend college; adult learners who can start building credits in the privacy of their own homes, and everyone else with an interest in a subject -- even if they chose not to take the exam."
"The Internet is open 24 hours a day," says Star, "and has reached a critical mass of college related resources. I expect to see an acceleration in the number of lectures freely available. Even students who have limited access to the Internet can benefit from the study guides posted on the Free University Project website."
Star has participated in alternate education since the 1970's, serving as a mentor with Campus Free College, a seminar leader, a guest lecturer at Boston University, and an adjunct instructor in continuing education at Florida International University. A former bureau chief in Milan, Italy and New York City for McGraw-Hill World News, he holds degrees in political science and mass communication from UCLA, and attended a graduate year at The London School of Economics.
The Free University Project an independent effort and is not affiliated with any testing agency, educational institution, commercial organization or government entity.
(slightly modified May, 1999)