California Town is Offering Free College Courses for Residents and Workers

California Town is Offering Free College Courses for Residents and Workers

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Mountain View, California is giving free college education to anyone living or working in the city.

Through a partnership between online course provider Study.com, the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, and Thomas Edison State University, prospective participants can apply for the Mountain View Working Scholars program. The program gives working adults the freedom to work with a success coach in orchestrating a degree program, choosing their classes, and completing their workload online at their own pace. This way, they can flexibly earn their degree while continuing to work.

200 people have already applied for the Working Scholars program while over 30 have already started their online courses.

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Though most people associate Mountain View with Silicon Valley and the tech industry, the reality is that for every tech worker, there are 5 non-tech workers in service related industries. Approximately 45% of adults over the age of 25 living in Mountain View do not have a bachelor’s degree. With the high costs of rents, home prices and other living expenses in the bay area, a college degree can be the key to unlocking greater earning potential.

Study.com, which offers over 70 different online courses, has already invested $60 million in creating an affordable and accessible platform for getting a college degree.

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“As an edtech company in the heart of Silicon Valley, we have been grateful to participate in the tech boom, but realize that many outside the tech industry have not prospered and are increasingly burdened by the rising cost of living,” said Adrian Ridner, CEO and Co-founder of Study.com. “We started Mountain View Working Scholars because we wanted to give back to local community by removing barriers to a college education. A bachelor’s degree is the key to upward mobility and the foundation for success in today’s knowledge economy.”

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(Photo by University of Central Arkansas, CC)

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