Rowan, Stockton offer free online global issues course to incoming freshmen

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Rowan University, in collaboration with The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, will offer a free, online course to incoming freshmen this summer.

The course, Global Challenges, will examine seven key topics including rising population rates, resource management, technology, information, economic integration, security and governance.

The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) course was developed by faculty from across the United States.

“This free, credit-bearing, e-learning course is a test of sorts,” said Rowan Provost Dr. James Newell. “It’s a way for us to tap experts from across the country to offer students a course that we alone cannot offer. That type of collaboration is the future of higher education.”

Students who take the course will earn three general education credits that may be applied toward graduating but they must register by June 2.

The eight-week course runs from July 1 to August 25.

Benefits of taking the course start with its content but include:

  • Savings of $1,470 for N.J. residents and $2,376 for out-of-state students;
  • A jumpstart on required Rowan University credits;
  • An opportunity to meet classmates early;
  • A way to enhance the first-year experience;
  • An avenue to build experience working collaboratively online;
  • A chance to explore some of the unique challenges facing humanity in the 21st Century.

Dr. Harvey Kesselman, Stockton’s provost and executive vice president, said the course will benefit students of all majors because a grasp of global issues is essential for any career path.

“This course is a great first step for our future students and leaders,” Dr. Kesselman said. “Stockton and Rowan are committed to providing innovative solutions and we’re proud to offer this free course because we know how important it is to help students and their families reduce the cost of education.”

George L. Mehaffy, vice president for academic leadership and change with the AASCU, commended Rowan and Stockton for collaborating on an important course and offering it for free.

“Their work builds on an AASCU model that represents what's best about higher education in the 21st century,” Mehaffy said. “This new program holds the promise of transforming the learning experience for students in southern New Jersey and preparing them to tackle the global challenges that face our world today.”

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