I’m sure most of you will agree that getting a quality education is important. It provides us with an opportunity to learn a skill or develop an ability that will improve our lives in some way.
Nowadays, however, the cost of tuition prohibits many from getting a higher education. How many of you graduated from college with student loan debt? How many of you are still paying it off?
Well, in an effort to make high-quality educational material available to the entire world regardless of one’s financial status, several sites have recently been created to offer college-level coursework to the masses for free.
One of those sites is ALISON. Here’s a brief overview of what their site is all about.
Who is ALISON? A Quick Review of ALISON
ALISON, which stands for “Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online,” is a free online learning resource geared towards improving basic and essential workplace skills. Their mission is to empower anyone, anywhere, to educate themselves for free through interactive, self-paced multimedia. They believe that through the work they’re doing, the cost of access to high-quality education can be removed.
How is it Free?
They’re able to provide certified and standards-based learning for free to individual learners through several methods. At first glance, you’ll see that an obvious way they make money is by showing advertisements all throughout their website. In addition, some of the content is created by developers who provide it at no charge, and are seeking no monetary return. There’s also the option to purchase a certificate or diploma upon completion of most courses, which brings in some revenue for them.
Where do the Courses Come From?
There are currently over 50 course publishers on ALISON. Notable publishers include Columbia, Google, Harvard, Microsoft, MIT, Stanford, and the University of North Carolina.
What Kinds of Courses are Offered?
There are so many interesting courses available. If you love to learn, you’ll have a blast on this site.
Since Faith and Finance is a blog about making, growing, and managing your money wisely, here are some relevant courses that I found.
In this course, you’ll learn about managing your debt, creating a budget, saving money, planning for children financially, and preparing for retirement.
Here, you’ll learn about The Rule of 72, Roth IRA’s, 401k’s, the alternative minimum tax, and tax deductions.
This course will show you how to negotiate lower credit card interest rates, as well as create a plan to prioritize and eliminate your debts.
After you take this course, you’ll know the difference between the two, and how to calculate each figure.
What do You Get After Completing a Course?
If you complete a course with an average score of 80% or more, you’ll receive an ALISON certificate. This proves to your current or any potential employer that you’ve successfully completed a training course.
Are Courses Accredited?
In short, no. Accreditation generally means that a program has been evaluated by an independent agency, and meets the standards of that accrediting agency. Smaller institutions often can’t fund the cost of an ongoing review process.
To keep their costs down, ALISON has not sought to be, nor been, approved by the US Department Of Education, Council for Higher Education Accreditation or Distance Education and Training Council and doesn’t represent itself to be an “accredited” program of any of these organizations.
One Minor Issue
As you spend more time on the site, you’ll notice that the spelling of some of the words are different from what you’re used to. That’s because some words are spelled differently from one country to the next. ALISON has adopted the approach of most global companies by opting to use British English spelling where variations arise.
I’ve personally finished the Fundamentals of Project Management course, and taken parts of the 21 Days to Building a Web Business course. They’re both quality courses in which I’ve gained useful knowledge.
Check out the site, and I’m sure you’ll find a course that interests you.