Outlier.org Partners with Amazon, Chromebook & Other Mission-Aligned Organizations to Launch Free "College Success" Course
06.09.2022 • 5 min read
With the FAFSA deadline approaching on June 30th, the new course will help students navigate important decisions and build critical skills, covering everything from how to pay for school to managing time and finding purpose.
NEW YORK, June 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Outlier.org, an online education platform dedicated to reducing student debt and increasing access to quality higher education, announced the launch of College Success, a free online course designed to help college students thrive during undergrad.
Increasing College Retention and Graduation Rates
Created as a public service with the goal of increasing college retention and graduation rates, this free course is available to anyone with an internet connection.
The course uses a combination of cinematic video lectures and interactive learning techniques to cover a range of under-discussed topics, including:
A framework for determining whether college is the right choice or if they should consider another pathway
The value of a college degree
Hidden expectations for students
Instructors also provide in-depth guidance on:
Paying for school (and life)
Finding a deeper purpose in learning
College Success is designed to be helpful for anyone considering higher education, including:
High school students
Adults returning to college
Anyone who procrastinates
Outlier.org believes that it is critical to help all potential college students make the most of their experience and investment.
As an example, $2 billion in federal student grants go unclaimed each year, simply because many students aren't aware of their availability and the process behind the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
A further 61% of college degree holders state that they regret their choice of major. And only 26% of first-generation college students complete their degree, often because they aren't familiar with the 'hidden curriculum' of under-discussed topics and expectations outside the classroom.
College Success Course Instructors
Led by Dr. Amy Baldwin, a professor at the University of Central Arkansas, author of the CollegeSuccess by OpenStax textbook, and sought-after speaker on student success, the College Success course provides students with expert advice and practical tools to help them successfully navigate the path to a degree.
Dr. Baldwin is joined by DePaul University's Dr. Kelly Richmond Pope and productivity expert Chris Bailey. The three instructors cover the kinds of topics that are vital for a smooth college experience, including:
Strategies for avoiding procrastination
Making and saving money during school
Applying for financial aid and grants
Managing student debt
Coming into class with a growth mindset
"As a student from a low-income background myself, I remember well the struggles of juggling coursework, financial aid, work-study, and a new setting," said Aaron Rasmussen, Founder and CEO of Outlier.org. "College Success provides the resources I wish I had before starting my college journey. We hope that the course improves the college experience for students of all backgrounds and helps them feel prepared and excited for the years ahead."
"Having spent over a decade working to increase access to higher education, I've seen again and again how necessary it is for students to have a resource like Outlier.org's College Success," said Dr. Baldwin. "I'm thrilled to work with their team to make sure that college students everywhere can begin their higher education journey with the tools they need to thrive."
"Students face extraordinary challenges when they enroll in higher education," said Dr. Angel Pérez, CEO of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). "College Success will help students learn the hidden curriculum of college and remove barriers they so often face. I'm thrilled to share this course with as many of our admission and counseling professionals as possible. A free course like this is a great service to students worldwide."
"A college student's experience of navigating college life while also searching for a career path is too often chaotic, and confusing," says Maria Flynn, President and CEO of Jobs for the Future. "We hope the College Success course can play an important role in clarifying and distilling important information to help people make better decisions for themselves."
College Success provides the resources I wish I had before starting my college journey. We hope that the course improves the college experience for students of all backgrounds and helps them feel prepared and excited for the years ahead. ---Aaron Rasmussen, Founder and CEO of Outlier.org
To ensure that College Success gets into the hands of as many students as possible, Amazon, Chromebook, and NACAC are working with Outlier.org to share the course. As an extension of their partnership with Outlier.org, Amazon includes this course as a part of their Career Choice benefit available to all eligible hourly U.S. employees. Career Choice is Amazon's education benefit that empowers employees to learn new skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere.
The Outlier.org app will also be featured on the Google Play Store, the Chromebook Perks page, and other marketing channels. NACAC is putting College Success into the hands of their more than 25,000 admission and counseling professionals to ensure their networks of students know about the course and use it as a resource.
In addition to Amazon, Chromebook, and NACAC, Outlier.org is launching the course together with a collaborative of other mission-aligned organizations to help reach as many students as possible. This group, coined the College Success Network, also includes Niche, OpenStax, Jobs for the Future, Big Picture Learning and upGrad as initial launch partners.
On top of increasing education access and reducing student debt, Outlier.org aims to build on-ramps to higher education, no matter where the student may choose to enroll. College Success was developed with secondary and post-secondary institutions in mind so that, instead of having to create their own version of the course, educators and institutions can use College Success as a free resource for all students.
Educators will soon be able to access classroom discussion guides to facilitate in-classroom conversations, along with distribution tools to easily share the course with colleagues, students, and parents.
Future College Success Updates
This is the first segment of College Success and Outlier.org will be adding more content, including topics such as:
Physical and emotional health
How to build study habits and communication skills
Created by the Co-founder of MasterClass, Outlier.org offers beautiful, effective online courses that earn students transferable college credit for a fraction of the cost. In addition to featuring cinema-quality lectures, Outlier.org courses are taught by some of the most charismatic figures in academia, including instructors from Yale, MIT, and Columbia, and are transcripted by the University of Pittsburgh, a top 60 school. Students enjoy a top-quality learning experience that includes access to 1-on-1 tutoring for math courses, AI-proctored assessments, dynamically-generated problem sets, and cutting-edge active learning materials. In keeping with the company's mission to increase access to top-quality higher education and reduce student debt, each course is priced at just $400.