Khan Academy to Offer Free College to All Its Staff
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Khan Academy, the largest private college chain in the United States, is to open a free online college for its staff in New York, the first to do so under an ambitious plan that will create jobs and spur enrollment.
The $2.8 billion-dollar venture will launch early next year with 100,000 graduates of Khan Academy in New Jersey and Delaware, according to a statement.
Its first graduates will earn degrees in education, business, and nursing.
“Khan Academy will be a new model for education that provides students with the opportunities to build skills in a variety of fields, such as STEM, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” the statement said.
“Khan’s graduates will be able to learn from top academics and experts in their fields, and gain hands-on experience through internship and career opportunities that will enable them to pursue their own professional goals.”
It is not clear how many students would receive degrees in the area, but the announcement suggests that the college could be the next step for the private company to expand into a global marketplace.
Khan has faced stiff competition from other colleges offering programs that offer degrees and diplomas online, including some that do not offer degrees.
The U.S. Department of Education last year announced a new plan to create a new federal government-run high school, offering free college for students enrolled in public schools, to compete with Khan Academy and others.
The agency, which is in the final stages of finalizing the plan, has also begun an online training program for teachers and principals.
Kathryn Siegel, the director of public education for New York’s New York City school system, said Khan Academy is among several initiatives that could create jobs in the public school sector.
Siegel said she is confident that the new online college will attract students who may not have access to the traditional educational opportunities offered by public schools.
“We will have an online education that is going to be a good place to get jobs,” she said.
“The online education will be the platform for learning, for making connections and for connecting students and helping them get to college.”
The New York school system is looking to offer more than 2,000 online programs to help students get into college, including online training, online college credits, and online college scholarships.
About 90 percent of the students enrolled at Khan Academy are expected to graduate, Siegel said.
Kahn Academy is aiming to attract an additional 100,00 students from across the United Kingdom, where its founder, Khizr Khan, was a U.K. citizen and the first Muslim to serve as the nation’s first Muslim prime minister.
The Khan Foundation, which has supported Khan Academy since it began, said on Wednesday it will help pay for the college’s operations and for the launch of Khan’s educational content, including Khan Academy courses and books.
The foundation will also be providing a portion of its profits to help fund the school’s educational programs.
The company is aiming for enrollment of about 1 million students this year, said Mark Regan, president of Khan Education, a joint venture that will operate the college.
Sauer, the New York education department official, said in a statement that the school will expand the program to meet the demand for Khan Academy education and to help prepare students for college.
“It will create a network of teachers, academics, and other students who can teach students and teachers to learn and to succeed in college and careers,” Sauer said.