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Bastyr University Participates in Alternative Credit Project

DaVinci Laboratories

The American Council on Education (ACE) recently announced the pool of courses selected as part of ACE’s Alternative Credit Project, an initiative to boost the ability of millions of nontraditional learners to gain a college degree. Bastyr University is the only school in Washington State and the only school for naturopathic medicine participating.

The 111 low- or no-cost, lower-division general education online courses were submitted by a group of non-accredited course providers chosen to participate in the Alternative Credit Project. Bastyr University, along with the 39 other colleges, universities and systems taking part in the project, has agreed to grant credit for a large number of these courses, which include disciplines such as business, critical thinking and writing, foreign language, humanities, mathematics and natural and physical sciences.

“A college degree should be available for anyone who desires one,” said Bastyr University President Charles “Mac” Powell, PhD. “To be able to help those interested in obtaining one and achieve their goals is something in which Bastyr University wants to be actively involved.”

“This is an important step for an initiative that already has significantly increased our body of knowledge about the most effective ways to increase the number of Americans able to earn a college degree or credential by using education, training and life experiences gained outside a formal classroom,” added ACE President Molly Corbett Broad.

ACE will be collecting anonymized data from Bastyr University and the other participating institutions regarding the number of credits each institution accepts through this project as well as progress and success rates of students who transfer in consortium-approved courses.

“Nontraditional students who often are balancing multiple family and career demands now know where they can turn to take courses that will help them reduce the time and expense required to gain a postsecondary degree or credential at a number of outstanding institutions,” said Deborah Seymour, ACE assistant vice president for education attainment and innovation.

The project is made possible by a $1.89 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

For more information, visit www.bastyr.edu/alternative-credit-project.