OAKLAND, Calif., April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Responding to the pressing need throughout California for access to college courses, Patten University (http://www.patten.edu/), a regionally accredited, non-profit university located in Oakland, is launching low-cost, online summer courses beginning in June 2012 (http://summer.patten.edu). The summer courses are designed to ensure that California's college students can access high-quality, transferable classes at prices comparable to, or lower than, tuition at California's public colleges and universities.
During an eight-week session this summer, Patten University will offer college courses in subjects including math, social science, history, government, and English. Patten University is leveraging technology provided by UniversityNow, a leading education technology company based in San Francisco, and will offer courses using UniversityNow's online learning platform.
As part of its online summer program, students can study with Patten University faculty and engage in interactive learning with their peers. After successfully completing a course, students will receive transferable college credit. Patten University will send an official transcript to each student's college or university, at no additional cost to the student.
Addressing The Challenge Facing California College Students
Despite its growing importance, higher education is becoming increasingly out of reach for California college students. This year, because of budget cuts, more than 133,000 first-year students were turned away from the state's community colleges. In addition, several hundred thousand students were denied access to classes required for credentials and degrees. Funding for California's community college system has been reduced more than 17 percent in the last three years, while enrollment has increased by almost 200,000 students since 2005. Patten University's online summer session is specifically designed to help address the challenge facing California college students.
"As an institution with deep roots in California, we have heard numerous stories of students unable to register for the courses they need to graduate," says Dr. Gary Moncher, President of Patten University. "We want to contribute a creative solution to the crisis by providing affordable access to quality higher education. We are very pleased to collaborate with UniversityNow (http://www.unow.com), a leading education technology company that, like us, shares our mission of increasing affordable access to college."
Using Technology to Lower Cost and Increase Quality
UniversityNow's online learning platform is designed to help students and faculty identify a student's academic challenges and where to focus their efforts. It also streamlines student-faculty interaction. UniversityNow has brought together a team of world-class technologists from leading Silicon Valley companies, including Google and Oracle, to work with prominent postsecondary educators to create one of the most sophisticated learning platforms on the market today.
"We share Patten's commitment to ensuring that students in California have access to affordable college courses. In addition, we are pleased to provide our learning platform to launch such an important effort," says Gene Wade, CEO of UniversityNow. "Patten University online offers an affordable, high-quality solution to the higher education crisis in California and, over time, can help thousands of students to stay on course to graduation."
Registering for Online Summer Courses
Classes begin on June 4, 2012. Signup for early-bird registration closes April 30. Open registration begins on May 3 and runs through May 30.
About Patten University
Patten University (patten.edu) has a longstanding tradition of educating first-generation students with outstanding faculty who know how to support students in their learning and emphasize the importance of social justice and community service. The partnership with UniversityNow enables Patten University to reach a wider population of students who need core academic coursework to advance their education. Patten's excellent undergraduate and graduate programs inspire and equip men and women for meaningful careers that effect community and global transformation.
UniversityNow (unow.com) is a leading education technology company that seeks to address the challenges of college cost, access, and completion rates. UniversityNow's goal is to help ensure that affordable, high-quality postsecondary education is available to students everywhere.
SOURCE Patten University