Thursday, January 14, 2010

Times Co. to offer online education certificates

Tip-toeing ever so slightly in the Washington Post Co.'s direction, the New York Times Co. is now expanding further into the lucrative market of distance education. Inside Higher Ed says the Times will start awarding certificates to students who pay to take its online courses -- "moving beyond its previous involvement, which focused on individual, non-credit courses." The courses are delivered through Epsilen, the company's online course delivery and networking platform, the education trade website reports today.

“Online education is a really robust area,” Felice Nudelman, director of education for the Times, told Inside Higher Ed. “It is, for many institutions, a profit center. And it’s an exciting way to bring together all the content from The New York Times and expertise from our newsroom, and expertise of college and university faculty.”

The Times' deeper forway into the education market follows the Washington Post Co.'s lucrative expansion into college-preparation services via its Kaplan Inc. subsidiary, one of the few bright spots in that company's flagging fortunes.

Ball State University’s undergraduate College of Communications, Information, and Media will begin a six-week course on video storytelling Monday — one of nine courses students must complete in order to earn a certificate toward “emerging media journalism” stamped with the seals of the Times and Ball State. The school in Muncie, Ind., is one of four colleges that have partnered with the Times on certificate programs, and the offerings go beyond the subject of journalism.

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