Should I take free online psychology courses?

I will soon finish the one psychology course my high school offers. I want more. I see many colleges and universities offering free online summer school programs. The Yale Online course selection seems good. Is it really? I hope to get into Yale; will free online psychology courses count toward a degree? With the cost of tuition and residency these days, I’m interested in “long distance learning”! If I can’t go to Yale, what are the best other online colleges for psychology? What is UNISA? How good or bad are Ashford, Phoenix, DeVry...?

Megan Page

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Justin Parker on July 26, 2018

Yale Online’s course selection is about as good as you make it.

Free online courses in psychology and other subjects are available for auditing (not part of a degree program) by anyone, anywhere. A fee may be charged for “verified registration” that allows successful students to print certificates showing that they’ve taken online classes.

Yale’s most popular psychology course ever, studying “the science of happiness,” is available free of charge, worldwide, online via Coursera. < http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/mind/yales-most-popular-course-offered-for-free-online/news-story/ddee4b42424ccafd464cd0b0b3a43871 > The course demand statistics have astonished teachers.

Naturally a few pranksters out there have probably enrolled their pets in this summer course. Yale tolerates that because, in order to apply course credit toward a real degree, students still have to register physically at Yale.

However, one reason why big-name schools offer these programs is to help identify which students are Yale, McGill, or MIT material. If your performance in the correspondence course is encouraging, the university will try to recruit you. Registered Yalies can satisfy several degree program requirements online, watching summer school standbys like “Fundamentals of Physics” on YouTube.

U.S. colleges and universities can be regionally or nationally accredited. Though Yale, like Harvard, is regionally accredited, only some of the colleges that make up each university are nationally accredited. Many universities worldwide accept anything you’ve done at Yale, even long-distance learning, as equivalent to a course they offer. When the option of “testing out” of a required class is available, then taking a free summer school program online can save you money. If you’ve done well in a relevant Yale Online course, the test should be easy.

The bad news is that lack of national accreditation can mean lack of federal grants and loans to cover Yale’s substantial tuition fees, and could theoretically mean that credit for even traditional on-campus classes at Yale might not transfer to other university programs. So, even middle schools in California could deny credit for tuition-free online classes offered by Yale. Always get current information about the usefulness of any online curriculum.

Almost all colleges and universities now offer some classes online. Respected ones also require enough on-campus face time to verify degree students’ identities. However, graduate and professional certification classes are often available online.

UNISA can refer to either the University of South Africa or the University of Australia. Both offer distance learning online, though it’s not necessarily tuition-free, for credit, or in the United States.

 

Craig Stewart4 months ago

I think this article skirted the question which colleges offer the best free psychology courses online, probably for the reason that it depends on what you want to do with a psychology course. Do you want to do psychological research, teach psychology, offer psychotherapy, or apply psychological information to things like writing, sales, education, coaching, or health and fitness? Once you answer that question, then you can easily find statistics on how well different schools do at preparing students for your chosen career. Drexel and Penn State have good reputations for making online B.S. degree programs similar to on campus programs in psychology. Yale, Harvard, and Stanford are very well rated for psychology < https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges-for-psychology/ > and all offer the free classes online, which, as noted, can help students get into these universities. Once accepted students must take some online classes to build technology skills, plus traditional classes on campus.
 


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