Semester Online offers interactive courses for Spring 2014: This online program teaches courses from numerous national and international universities

Posted by Julia Leef

As registration comes to a close, students wishing to take additional courses may wish to consider Semester Online, a unique program that offers undergraduate online courses. This program opened enrollment for the spring semester of 2014 with 21 courses for students to choose from.

According to a recent press release, Semester Online uses the Socratic method of learning to engage students in face-to-face learning through live video conferencing and online chats. Students participate in discussions and exercises, attend lectures and collaborate with peers in an online-capacity. The program operates through a consortium of colleges and universities, including Boston College, Brandeis University, Emory University, Northwestern University, and Wake Forest University. Students will also receive an official transcript from the institution offering the class. 

"The fall pilot of Semester Online has been a successful start for this groundbreaking online education program with more than 100 students enrolled across 10 courses," Andrew Hermalyn, executive vice president and general manager of Semester Online at 2U, Inc., said in a press release. Semester Online partners with 2U, which was founded in 2008 by a team of education veterans and provides universities with the technology, infrastructural support, and capital needed to support this web-based program.

On Nov. 6, Semester Online announced Trinity College Dublin and the University of Melbourne as its first international partners, giving students the option to study abroad online in Ireland and Australia. The University of Melbourne will offer a Classical Mythology course while Trinity College Dublin will lead a course on Ireland in Rebellion, 1798-1916.

"Trinity College Dublin and the University of Melbourne are world-renowned education institutions with a legacy of innovation in teaching," Hermalyn said. "Semester Online students will benefit from the talents and global perspective of their respective faculty. Their participation in Semester Online demonstrates our commitment to making this initiative international in scope, thereby enriching the development of all the students in this new for-credit program."

Several of the newer courses added to Semester Online's curriculum for the 2014 spring semester include Critical Earth Issues, The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament: Then and Now, How to Rule the World and Baseball and American Culture. A complete list may be found at the program's website.

"The expansion of Semester Online's course offerings demonstrates the speed at which the program is growing, as we provide more students the opportunity to participate in this unique academic experience with live online classes of fewer than twenty students per class, led by renowned professors from the nation's best undergraduate institutions," Hermalyn said.

Semester Online will accept applications from students currently enrolled in a four-year, regionally accredited institution and who are in good academic standing. The deadline for the application is Mon. Dec. 23, with an early deadline of Fri. Nov. 22.

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