2018 Special Recognition: MITx MicroMasters

Earn Credentials to Advance Your Career Online with MIT and EdX

Online-only classes have been implemented widely by postsecondary educational institutions across the United States; in 2015, there were almost 6 million students enrolled in distance learning courses offered by accredited postsecondary institutions. Utilizing technology to reach students who cannot attend classes in person has greatly increased the accessibility of higher education and the scope of many universities who can now educate students across the country, and even the world.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University partnered to expand the phenomena of online learning beyond tuition-paying students enrolled in accredited universities. The world-class universities created a platform, edX, that hosts Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that are free to anyone who wishes to participate. Learners who participate for free do not earn credits from any university, but MIT is now using the edX platform to offer credit to students who pay a fee for proctored exams.

The program, MITx MicroMasters, combines distance learning technology and MIT graduate courses and targets professionals seeking to advance their career in their field of work. The pilot subject for the program was supply chain management, intended to help employees market themselves and improve their performance at work.

MicroMasters certifications are not equivalent to master’s degrees, but upon completion of the MicroMasters, students are eligible to apply to master’s degree programs at MIT or other partner universities. The MicroMasters certification accelerates the master’s program and reduces the overall cost of the degree because some of the coursework is already completed. One partner university is the Rochester Institute of Technology, which offers MicroMasters graduates 12 credits towards a 33 credit master’s program in supply chain management.

Interest from companies has also been piqued; General Electric (GE) sponsored some of its employees to take the supply chain management MicroMasters with great success. GE has now committed to interviewing any Massachusetts resident who completes the MITx MicroMasters in supply chain management.

Pioneer Institute congratulates Krisha Rajagopal, Dean of Digital Learning and professor of physics, and Tracy Tan, director of MicroMasters, and on their winning submission.

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