SOPHIA and Bill Nye "The Science Guy" Launch Operation College Success

Education Platform Addresses Issue of College Readiness and Affordability with Free Resources and Low-Cost Online Courses for College Credit

May 13, 2013, 09:00 ET from SOPHIA

MINNEAPOLIS, May 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With the cost of higher education skyrocketing and two-thirds of today's students unprepared academically for college, has launched Operation College Success to offer free tools to help address the issue of college readiness and affordability. SOPHIA and Bill Nye The Science Guy launched the campaign today in Washington, D.C. at an event on Capitol Hill.

SOPHIA is an online education platform that provides free resources to students and teachers including 33,000 free academic tutorials on a variety of subjects. With Operation College Success, SOPHIA has expanded its offerings to include free college readiness resources that include ACT math test prep; College Prep Pathways in algebra, statistics and biology; and College Success Skills that provide students with valuable tips and resources to help them navigate the college experience successfully. In addition, SOPHIA offers an affordable path to a college degree with SOPHIA Pathways for College Credit – online courses for college credit priced at $329 per course.

"It's startling to think that two-thirds of high school students don't have the academic skills they need to succeed in college and with the added cost of remediation, which collectively costs student billions, the goal of earning a college degree becomes that much harder to attain financially," said Allison Gage, President of SOPHIA. "With Operation College Success, students now have more free resources at their fingertips that can help them get prepared. In addition, we also offer affordable college courses in several high-demand general education subjects that will start them on the path to a degree."

SOPHIA Operation College Success offers a full portfolio of free resources including:

  • College Prep Pathways that provide refresher courses in algebra, statistics and biology. Each course is presented in short-form tutorials and features SOPHIA's Many Ways learning model that allows students to choose from multiple teachers and instructional styles.
  • ACT Math Test Prep featuring sample tests as well as test-taking tips.
  • College Success Skills that will not only prepare students but also keep them motivated through college. Resources are available in each of the following areas: setting goals; financing college; classroom strategies on note-taking, test-taking and preparing for an online learning environment; and resources to help students improve their study habits and also take a proactive role in learning.

"We developed these tools because we believe it's important to make educational resources accessible to everyone, everywhere so they can achieve their goal of earning a college degree," Gage said. "We want to reverse the trend of students starting college unprepared and then going further in debt.  SOPHIA can help students be successful now and into the future."

Affordable Online College Courses with SOPHIA Pathways for College Credit
In addition to free college readiness resources, SOPHIA has introduced SOPHIA Pathways for College Credit™ (SPCC) – a self-paced program that offers online courses for transferable college credit at a significant savings over traditional college classes.

Students can enroll in SPCC at any time and complete the online courses. SPCC's self-paced courses are better designed to meet the needs of the student than programs that offer one instructor and a rigid schedule. Each course features SOPHIA's Many Ways to Learn™ model where individual concepts are taught by a variety of instructors each with their own style, so students can choose one that works best for them. In addition, all instructional materials are available online and included in the initial price, further increasing the affordability of SPCC by eliminating the expense of textbooks. The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for five of SOPHIA's online courses. More than 2,000 colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.

"While a college degree can open many doors, many students lack the financial resources, access and skills they need to succeed in a traditional college environment," Gage said. "With SPCC we are personalizing the college experience by meeting the individual learning needs of the students and also doing it at an affordable price."

The SPCC courses that have received credit recommendations from ACE CREDIT® are College Algebra, Human Biology, Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Sociology and Introduction to Statistics. Four more courses are under consideration for an ACE CREDIT® recommendation.

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About SOPHIA is a social education platform that empowers students to learn in their own way, helps teachers to innovate and puts college students on a path to a lower-cost degree. The free site offers more than 32,000 academic multimedia tutorials taught by over 6,000 teachers using a unique Many Ways to Learn™ model where each concept is taught by multiple teachers so students can choose a teaching style that works best for them. The site further enhances the learning process by offering quizzes, assessing learning preferences and providing sequenced learning pathways. SOPHIA also provides free teacher certification programs about the flipped classroom and using tablets in the classroom.

In addition, SOPHIA recently launched SOPHIA Pathways for College Credit (SPCC), a self-paced college-level online learning program that offers general education courses priced around 80 percent less than a traditional course. SPCC makes higher education affordable, accessible and inspirational for students in high school and beyond. SOPHIA is a subsidiary of Capella Education Company (NASDAQ: CPLA).

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Laura Telander Graf