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News Link • Education: Private Religious Schools

M.I.T. Just Announced Its First Free Online Certificate Program

Think online education is a shady crock? Think again: Even top-tier are taking their courses online.

Today M.I.T. university unveiled MITx, a new program that will enable students across the world to take a portfolio of its courses online and free of charge and choose to earn a certificate for demonstrating mastery of their subjects. The latter, says the university's website, will be available for a "modest fee."

Set to launch in spring 2012, MITx could redefine the face of interactive online learning. Typically, online courses have been associated with questionable for-profit schools and universities that offered training and degrees for in-demand fields, but did little to help their students secure employment post-graduation, much less a federal loan or grant to help them afford the hefty tuition.

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