Saylor Foundation Highlights K-12 OER and Affordable College Pathways Programs at Open Education Conference

Full presentation videos feature Common Core alignment and inexpensive college credit for open online courses

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| Source: The Saylor Foundation

WASHINGTON, Nov. 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Saylor Foundation, with trustee Michael J. Saylor in attendance, showcased two of its online education programs at the 2013 Open Education Conference in Park City, Utah. Devon Ritter and Excelsior College's Mark Michalisin presented on Creating a path towards an affordable, accredited higher education together. Angelyn Pinter presented on The Saylor Foundation K-12 Initiative – Full Curriculum OER.

Trustee Michael Saylor attended the flagship conference for the first time, where he witnessed the diversity of outstanding ideas-in-action from the open community; ideas that will drive his foundation's goals for 2014 and provide useful context for the achievements logged by Saylor.org in five years of development.

Among those accomplishments are the construction of twelve complete Math and ELA courses for grades 6-12 (six more are in development) and a suite of higher education courses aligned to credit opportunities. Three of the Saylor Foundation's free higher-education courses – Introduction to Psychology, Macroeconomics, and Single-variable Calculus – are matched to Excelsior College's credit-bearing UExcel® exams, with more on the way. These exams, administered at thousands of secure testing facilities throughout the world, provide a pathway for individuals who complete these courses to demonstrate mastery of the subject material and earn college credit.

Presentations - Videos and Slides

The Saylor Foundation K-12 Initiative – Full Curriculum OER
(Angelyn Pinter, Director of Education, The Saylor Foundation)

Video (YouTube) | Slides (SlideShare)

This presentation explores how the Saylor Foundation uses open educational resources (OER) to create open online courses aligned to Common Core standards and how educators, parents, and students can best employ OER. Teachers will note the implications for hybrid and "flipped" classroom models and be able to benefit from the work done by the foundation in finding, vetting, aligning, and publishing open resources. Parents and students will learn how to use OER and Saylor.org materials to further their education goals.

The Saylor Foundation's K-12 initiative has published four English Language Arts (ELA) and eight Mathematics courses under open license, for free use at school and at home. The courses are fully aligned with the Common Core standards.

Creating a path towards an affordable, accredited higher education together

(Devon Ritter, Special Projects Associate, The Saylor Foundation; Mark Michalisin, Executive Director of Business Development, Excelsior College)

Video (YouTube) | Slides (SlideShare)

This presentation explores the fruits of a year of partnership between The Saylor Foundation and Excelsior College. The nature of the collaboration, data on student success to date, and the possibility for serious scale are highlighted.

Over 2,500 students are enrolled in the three currently aligned courses. Ninety-percent of those who have so far taken exams have passed and earned credit, with a potential cost savings to students of more than $40,000, providing a truly affordable path to earning college credit. Under this agreement, students who complete a free course from Saylor.org can register to take one of the three corresponding Excelsior College UExcel exams for $95. Students who earn a "C" or higher on the exam earn between three and six college credits, depending on the exam. These credits can be applied towards an Excelsior College degree program or transferred toward a pathway at a peer higher education institution (in accordance with the credit transfer policies of those schools).

About The Saylor Foundation

The Saylor Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. As part of its mission to make quality education freely available to all, the foundation employs experienced faculty to design K-12, university, and career level courses from the wealth of material available on the Web. Today, the free education initiative at Saylor.org provides over 300 standard and college credit-aligned courses to anyone with an Internet connection.

About Excelsior College and UExcel®

Excelsior College is a regionally accredited, nonprofit distance learning institution that focuses on removing obstacles to the educational goals of adult learners. Founded in 1971 and located in Albany, NY, Excelsior is a proven leader in the assessment and validation of student knowledge. It offers more efficient and affordable access to degree completion through multiple avenues: its own online courses and college-level proficiency examinations, and the acceptance in transfer of credit from other colleges and universities as well as recognized corporate and military training programs. Excelsior College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

UExcel Excelsior College Examination Program is a credit by examination program offered in a computer-based format at thousands of test centers globally. The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) has evaluated and recommended college credit for UExcel exams.

Sean Connor
The Saylor Foundation
202.333.4005
sean[dot]connor[at]saylor[dot]org