Website offers free college courses - FOX 13 News

Website offers free college courses

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Tina Rouissiya has had quite a career.

"I'm self-taught, you know, full charge bookkeeper, contract administration, project management, H.R., payroll. I've had some very good teachers along the way," she explained.

However, one thing she didn't have was a diploma.

"As my career progressed, you always wonder, what would that piece of paper do for me," she said.

Soon she came face to face with the opportunity.

"I'm a Facebook junkie and one night I was just going through the wall posts and I saw one of my friends had posted hey check out this site, they're posting free online college courses. And I clicked on the link for Coursera and it's like, oh my goodness, Harvard and Princeton and Stanford and University of Michigan. I immediately that night signed up for two classes," she said.

With its latest expansion, Coursera will be revolutionizing the higher education system by providing 200 courses this fall to more than a million students. In fact, they hit that million mark faster than Facebook.

"There are 40,000 people worldwide taking the Intro to Finance class that I'm taking and so being exposed to different currencies, different students, experiences," Tina said.

Now Coursera is doubling its college partnerships to 32 across the nation and they're also hitting closer to home, by teaming up with the University of Florida.

"So who's to say in six months if UT or USF might be offering it."

In the meantime, Tina finds herself making a tight knit connection to class being offered far away.

"The professor from the University of Michigan, he's very animated," she said, "It's almost like he's right there. I find myself laughing out loud at some of his comments and how he does things."

The biggest perk is that these classes like this one are actual certificate courses.

"It will make me more valuable to my employer."

Critics are concerned that the value of this higher education will eventually come at a higher price. They believe one day these free Coursera classes will also be for profit. The founders say while they are working on other revenue making models, Coursera will always be free.

Tina said, "When you pay for something you're going to do it no matter what because you're paying for it. When something is free, you really have to discipline yourself to do it, to finish it, to complete it."

So with that inspiration in mind, Tina will continue the free classes for as long as they last.

"I'm already looking to see what classes are available when this semester is over for me."

It's an opportunity for an Ivy League education without the Ivy League price tag.

For a complete of the new schools that were just added, follow this link: https://www.Coursera.Org/#universities

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