NEW YORK, June 13, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Educational consumers fed-up with our $1+ trillion student loan debt want to put a stop to this growing crisis by providing every American with access to a free online college education through a nationally accredited University whose academic program offerings are made up from the over 2,600 and growing Massive Open Online Courses ("MOOCs") that already exist today globally.
From June 2013 to June 2014, the total number of MOOCs worldwide grew over 327%. Many now offer optional MOOC "verified" certificates, and/or "assessment" tests that provide the initial building blocks for accredited online Vocational/Professional Certificates, Associates, and Bachelor degrees.
Supporters of the petition point to a cost of a college education that has become prohibitive for most of Americans, and insurmountable student loan debt that is financially paralyzing our students, their families and our economic recovery. This skyrocketing debt is not just unsustainable by our families, but also by our communities, our employers and our country.
The MOOC petition encourages anyone that can afford access to a full time campus-based University education to do it, but for the many that cannot, then a free nationally accredited MOOCs University is an option that can be and must be available to all Americans today. The petition originators and its supporters do not believe that a free MOOCs University is for everyone, but they do believe it is for many, and one of their key messages is that the choice needs to be given to the individual learner.
Supporters of this effort point to the fact that many other countries are already working on country or regional MOOC initiatives. Countries like India, France, Jordan, Trinidad/Tobago, China and others. The U.S. was instrumental in bringing MOOCs to the world, but it now needs to take the global leadership in bringing a free American accredited MOOCs University forward at home and worldwide.
One of the ways the petition proposes to initially launch and test this effort is through the grouping of "existing/upcoming" MOOCs into academic pathways by subject area (i.e., Science, Programming, Design, IT, Humanities, Health, Vocational, etc.) that can lead to MOOCs University certificates, associate or bachelor degrees. It's a start that the petition organizers say can happen now at minimal cost and can be built on and improved with on-going student feedback.
Supporters of this MOOC Petition initiative come from all over the world, and represent working families, teachers, unemployed, disabled, low income students, and many others. Some of their comments from the petition's site, www.MOOCpetition.com are below:
MAMMOTH LAKES, CA
Education gives an even playing field and should be available to everyone who wants it.
Every human being should have equal and free opportunity to get an education at all levels.
The quality of government education in this country keeps declining no matter how much money we throw at it. This and nearly a decade of the bad economy has created a situation in which the children of the wealthy have no trouble being educated; the middle class kids (the few who are left) have to borrow exorbitant amounts of money & the poor have few options.
I am in k-12 secondary administration. It is critical for teacher professional development and gives our high school students access to post-secondary coursework to facilitate transition, dual credit, and exploring careers prior to college.
In middle age with disabling health issues, having raised a child after his father, my husband passed suddenly. My son had a full ride but, became ill his first year of college and finished with GPA 3 points to low to keep. In his 20s now, he'd like to finish his education but, must work to support himself.
No one should be left uneducated simply because one cannot afford.
Access to good education is the surest way to eliminate poverty, especially in developing countries
I look after a disabled family member which means I cannot work so have to survive on a very low income which means opportunities such as education is out of my reach.
BONNEY LAKE, WA
IN this age of technology and most importantly, mobile technology. Limitations to quality education is no longer limited to geographically location.
I am currently using moocs to further my education as I cannot afford a student loan.
This is important because it addresses directly the outrageous cost of a traditional University education necessary for obtaining recognition of one's educational development yet the resources for one's educational development are readily available but secures no recognition that employers, governing bodies, etc., require as the approval stamp for maintaining/advancing one's livelihood through such education.
BANFORA, BURKINA FASO
For me, it will be a great support if the diplomas are recognize by other universities and can be taken as a proof for professional growth. Even if a need of physical appearance will be asked at the end of the session.
CORAL SPRINGS, FL
I have seen too many people that want to better themselves and just don't have the least bit of money at all to start. Many young people who would like to change their circumstances and are very smart simply cannot break the barriers.
BANGOR, UNITED KINGDOM
Better education means a better workforce globally.
OVERLAND PARK, KS
I'm unemployed, widowed mother with a minor child. A free or very low cost online college would offer myself and millions of others who are unable to afford a higher education the ability to obtain a college degree and therefore, more able to provide for their families.
COLOMBO, SRI LANKA
Free education is a right for the modern human, and a boon for sustainable development.
It is very important not only for me but for all Filipino citizen who cannot afford to pay for their education.
College should be reasonably priced. And everyone with a desire should have access to education
FORT WORTH, TX
Equal access to higher education can only build better communities.
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SOURCE MOOCs University