Friday, June 29, 2012

College Affordability and Transparency Center

Monday, June 25, 2012

Academic Costume Code and Ceremony Guide

by Eugene Sullivan, American Council on Education

Reprinted with permission from American Universities and Colleges, 15th Edition
© 1997 Walter de Gruyter, Inc.

Historical Overview

The origins of academic dress date back to the 12th and 13th centuries, when universities were taking form. The ordinary dress of the scholar, whether student or teacher, was the dress of a cleric. With few exceptions, the medieval scholar had taken at least minor orders, made certain vows, and perhaps been tonsured. Long gowns were worn and may have been necessary for warmth in unheated buildings. Hoods seem to have served to cover the tonsured head until superseded for that purpose by the skull cap.
A statute of the University of Coimbra in 1321 required that all "Doctors, Licentiates, and Bachelors" wear gowns. In England, in the second half of the 14th century, the statutes of certain colleges forbade "excess in apparel" and prescribed the wearing of a long gown. In the days of Henry VIII of England, Oxford and Cambridge first began prescribing a definite academic dress and made it a matter of university control even to the extent of its minor details. The assignment of colors to signify certain faculties was to be a much later development, and one which was to be standardized only in the United States in the late 19th century. White taken from the white fur trimming of the Oxford and Cambridge B.A. hoods, was assigned to arts and letters. Red, one of the traditional colors of the church, went to theology. Green, the color of medieval herbs, was adopted for medicine, and olive, because it was so close to green, was given to pharmacy. Golden yellow, standing for the wealth which scientific research has produced, was assigned to the sciences. European institutions have always had great diversity in their specifications of academic dress and this has been a source of confusion. In contrast, American colleges and universities opted for a definite system that all might follow. A significant contribution to the development of this system was made by Gardner Cotrell Leonard of Albany, New York. Mr. Leonard designed gowns for his class at Williams College in 1887 and had them made by Cotrell and Leonard, a firm established by his family in Albany, New York. He was greatly interested in the subject and following the publication of an article by him on academic dress in 1893, he was invited to work with an Intercollegiate Commission made up of representatives of leading institutions to establish a suitable system of academic apparel. The Commission met at Columbia University in 1895 and adopted a code of academic dress, which besides regulating the cut and style and materials of the gowns, prescribed the colors which were to represent the different fields of learning. In 1932 the American Council on Education authorized the appointment of a committee "to determine whether revision and completion of the academic code adopted by the conference of the colleges and universities in 1895 is desirable at this time, and, if so, to draft a revised code and present a plan for submitting the code to the consideration of the institutional members of the Council." The committee reviewed the situation through correspondence and conference and approved a code for academic costumes that has been in effect since that year. A Committee on Academic Costumes and Ceremonies, appointed by the American Council on Education in 1959, again reviewed the costume code and made several changes. In 1986, the committee updated the code and added a sentence clarifying the use of the color dark blue for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. (return to top)

The Academic Costume Code

Pattern. Gowns recommended for use in the colleges and universities of this country have the following characteristics. The gown for the bachelor's degree has pointed sleeves. It is designed to be worn closed. The gown for the master's degree has an oblong sleeve, open at the wrist, like the others. The sleeve base hangs down in the traditional manner. The rear part of its oblong shape is square cut, and the front part has an arc cut away. The gown is so designed and supplied with fasteners that it may be worn open or closed. The gown for the doctor's degree has bell-shaped sleeves. It is so designed and supplied with fasteners that it may be worn open or closed.
Material. As a means of adaptation to climate, the material of the gowns may vary from very light to very heavy provided that the material, color, and pattern follow the prescribed rules.
Color. Black is recommended. (For permissible exceptions, see below.)
Trimmings. Gowns for the bachelor's or master's degrees are untrimmed. For the doctor's degree, the gown is faced down the front with black velvet; three bars of velvet are used across the sleeves. These facings and crossbars may be of velvet of the color distinctive of the disciplines to which the degree pertains, thus agreeing in color with the binding or edging of the hood appropriate to the particular doctor's degree in every instance.
For all academic purposes, including trimmings of doctors' gowns, edging of hoods, and tassels of caps, the colors associated with the different disciplines are as follows:
Arts, Letters, HumanitiesWhite
Commerce, Accountancy, BusinessDrab
EducationLight Blue
Fine Arts, including ArchitectureBrown
Library ScienceLemon
Oratory (Speech)Silver Gray
PharmacyOlive Green
PhilosophyDark Blue
Physical EducationSage Green
Public Administration, including Foreign ServicePeacock Blue
Public HealthSalmon Pink
ScienceGolden Yellow
Social WorkCitron
Veterinary ScienceGray
In some instances American makers of academic costumes have divided the velvet trimming of the doctor's gown in such a fashion as to suggest in the same garment two or more doctor's degrees. Good precedent directs that a single degree from a single institution should be indicated by a single garment. 
Pattern. As usually followed by American colleges and universities, but following the specifications listed below.
Material. In all cases the material must be the same as that of the gown.
Color. Black, in all cases.
Length. The length of the hood worn for the bachelor's degree must be three feet, for the master's degree three and one-half feet, and for the doctor's degree, four feet. The hood worn for the doctor's degree only shall have panels at the sides.
Linings. The hoods are to be lined with the official color or colors of the college or university conferring the degree; more than one color is shown by division of the field color in a variety of ways, chevron or chevrons, equal division, etc. The various academic costume companies maintain complete files on the approved colors for various institutions.
Trimmings. The binding or edging of the hood is to be velvet or velveteen, two inches, three inches, and five inches wide for the bachelor's, master's, and doctor's degrees, respectively; the color should be indicative of the subject to which the degree pertains (see above). For example, the trimming for the degree of Master of Science in Agriculture should be maize, representing agriculture, rather than golden yellow, representing science. No academic hood should ever have its border divided to represent more than a single degree.
In the case of the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree, the dark blue color is used to represent the mastery of the discipline of learning and scholarship in any field that is attested to by the awarding of this degree and is not intended to represent the field of philosophy.
Material. Cotton poplin, broadcloth, rayon, or silk, to match gown are to be used; for the doctor's degree only, velvet.
Form. Mortarboards are generally recommended.
Color. Black.
Tassel. A long tassel is to be fastened to the middle point of the top of the cap only and to lie as it will thereon. The tassel should be black or the color appropriate to the subject, with the exception of the doctor's cap that may have a tassel of gold. (return to top)
Other Apparel
Shoes and other articles of visible apparel worn by graduates should be of dark colors that harmonize with the academic costume. Nothing else should be worn on the academic gown.
Some Permissible Exceptions
  • Only members of the governing body of a college or university, whatever their degrees, are entitled to wear doctor's gowns (with black velvet), but their hoods may be only those of degrees actually held by the wearers or those especially prescribed for them by the institution.
  • The chief marshal may wear a specially designed costume approved by the institution.
  • It is customary in many large institutions for the hood to be dispensed with by those receiving bachelor's degrees.
  • Persons who hold degrees from foreign universities may wear the entire appropriate academic costume, including cap, gown, and hood.
  • Members of religious orders may suitably wear their customary habits. The same principle applies to persons wearing military uniforms or clad in special attire required by a civil office.
  • It is recommended that collegiate institutions that award degrees, diplomas, or certificates below the baccalaureate level use caps and gowns of a light color, e.g., light gray.

Additional Guidance on Costume

In the light of large numbers of requests for advice about academic dress, the Committee on Academic Costumes and Ceremonies offers the following observations and recommendations for the guidance of colleges and universities in making decisions about regalia for ceremonial occasions.
First, it should be noted that it is impossible (and probably undesirable) to lay down enforceable rules with respect to academic costume. The governing force is tradition and the continuity of academic symbols from the Middle Ages. The tradition should be departed from as little as possible, not only to preserve the symbolism of pattern and color, but for practicality as well (when radical changes are adopted manufacturing problems and scarcity of inventory may ensue). Second, the fundamental guidelines of the academic costume code may be adapted to local conditions. Such adaptations are entirely acceptable as long as they are reasonable and faithful to the spirit of the traditions which give rise to the code. They are not acceptable when they further subdivide the recognized disciplines and designate new colors for such subdivisions. The spectrum of colors which manufacturers can utilize and which can be clearly identified as distinct from other colors is, for all practical purposes, exhausted. Problems may arise with emerging broad interdisciplinary areas; it is recommended that these be resolved by using the color of the discipline most nearly indicative of the new area. New disciplinary designations for colors traditionally assigned would not be readily recognizable or useful. (return to top)
Third, in response to a number of questions about gowns and hoods appropriate to the associate degree, the committee's recommendation is
  • that the gown be of the same type as worn by recipients of the bachelor's degree,
  • that the color of the gown be light gray, and
  • that the hood be of the same shape as the one worn by Bachelor of Arts except that it have no velvet border, that the institutional colors be on the lining, and that the outside be black.
Fourth, six-year specialist degrees (Ed.S., etc.) and other degrees that are intermediate between the master's and the doctor's degree may have hoods specially designed
  • intermediate in length between the master's and doctor's hood,
  • with a four-inch velvet border (also intermediate between the widths of the borders of master's and doctor's hoods), and
  • with color distributed in the usual fashion and according to the usual rules. Cap tassels should be uniformly black.
Fifth, as a particular courtesy to guests who are expected to wear academic costume, institutions should provide robes and mortarboards of an appropriate type, even if hoods cannot be supplied.

An Academic Ceremony Guide

In response to numerous requests from institutions, the Committee on Academic Costumes and Ceremonies in 1959 prepared the following academic ceremony guide:
Many factors, such as the nature of the institution, the size of the graduating class, the weather, and the place of the ceremony (indoors or outdoors), affect the details of the various kinds of academic ceremonies. Institutions have wide latitude in meeting these conditions. It is therefore recognized that the following suggestions do not answer all pertinent questions concerning any specific ceremony. 
Wearing the Costume
Caps. Those wearing academic costumes always wear their caps in academic processions and during the ceremony of conferring degrees. Men may remove caps during prayer, the playing of the national anthem and the alma mater, and at other specified times, e.g., during the baccalaureate sermon or the commencement address. It is traditional that all such actions be done in unison. Hence, the plan for each ceremony should be carefully prepared in advance. The participants should be notified beforehand and someone (usually the presiding officer) should be designated to give the cues for removing and replacing the caps.
There is no general rule for the position of the tassel on a mortarboard. However, numerous institutions have adopted the practice, during commencement exercises, of requiring candidates for degrees to wear the tassels on the right front side before degrees are conferred and to shift them to the left at the moment when degrees are awarded to them. This custom is, in some respects, a substitute for individual hooding.
Gowns. At ceremonies where degrees are conferred, it is proper for a candidate to wear the gown in keeping with the degree to be received.
Hoods. If a person holds more than one academic degree, he or she may wear only one hood at a time. The hood worn should be appropriate to the gown.
The traditional rule is that a candidate for a degree should not wear the hood of that degree until it is actually conferred. This rule still applies to those who are to be individually hooded during the commencement ceremony; they should not wear the hoods in the preliminary academic procession. However, when degrees are to be conferred en masse, without individual hooding, the groups involved, e.g., master's degree candidates at large universities, may wear their hoods in the preliminary procession and throughout the ceremony. Many institutions have dispensed entirely with bachelors' hoods. It is quite appropriate for the bachelor's gown to be worn without a hood. (return to top)
Academic Procession in General
There is wide variation in customs concerning academic processions. In some institutions, the procession is led by a mace bearer, in others by the chief marshal. Either may be followed by a color guard. (On some occasions the colors are displayed on the stage and are not moved during the ceremony.) At some institutions there are more divisions in the procession than are indicated below, e.g., church dignitaries. Such groups have traditional places in the procession, determined by the individual institution.
Commencement Exercises
The Preliminary Procession. The commencement procession is usually composed of the following divisions:
  • the speakers, trustees, administrative officers, and other members of the platform party;
  • the faculty; and
  • candidates for degrees, with candidates for advanced degrees in the lead and others in groups according to the degrees for which they are candidates.
The divisions may march in the above order, or in reverse order. If the latter procedure is chosen, the candidates for degrees after reaching their seats, face toward the center aisle as a mark of respect while the faculty and trustees proceed to their places.
The Commencement Ceremony. The essential elements of the ceremony are the conferring of degrees and the commencement . Earned degrees are usually conferred in ascending order, with baccalaureate degrees first and doctorates last. Honorary degrees are conferred, with individual citations, after the earned degrees. (At some institutions, this order is reversed, with baccalaureate degrees conferred last.)
The Subsequent Procession. The platform party and faculty leave the hall in that order. Recipients of degrees may be required to join the procession or may be permitted to disperse from their seats when the first two divisions have left the hall.
The Baccalaureate Service
The preliminary procession for the baccalaureate service differs from that for commencement exercises in the following main respects: 
  • the platform party, faculty, and degree candidates most frequently march in that order; and
  • candidates for degrees are not required to march in a special order determined by degrees to be conferred.
Inauguration Exercises
The Preliminary Procession. When a president or chancellor of a college or university is to be inaugurated, it is traditional for the academic procession to include at least the following divisions in the following order:
  • delegates of colleges and universities arranged according to the dates when the respective institutions were founded;
  • delegates of learned societies and associations;
  • the faculty;
  • the trustees; and
  • the speakers and other dignitaries in the president's party, with the person to be inaugurated marching alone at the very end of the procession.
The Ceremony. The essential components of the ceremony are the installation, usually by the chair of the board of trustees, and the inaugural address by the new head of the institution.  Additional addresses preceding the inaugural address may be made by representatives of governments, churches, other institutions, alumni, etc., as appropriate.
The Subsequent Procession. The newly inaugurated president or chancellor leads the procession from the hall, followed by the five divisions listed above, in reverse order.

Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE)

Friday, June 22, 2012

The CourseAtlas Sevices Beta provides web services for accessing to the CourseAtlas database - a one-of-kind, centralized repository of courses and institutions.

Compiled from 4,300 institution websites and catalogs. 3.5+ million Courses.
Browse our course catalog of more than 3.4 million course descriptions at over 3,000 colleges, and find alternatives for nearly 60,000 courses.

(, a nonprofit, is a free platform for original tutorial videos and assessments, and users earn virtual badges for mastering a given subject. Codecademy ( offers free, hands-on online programming courses and exercises. Coursera (, a for-profit online educator, partners with colleges, universities and other institutions to offer courses that are free to take, but there is typically associated course work—graded via machine or by peers—and there might be a charge for an optional course-end certificate.

Everyday Education

The National Course Atlas

The National Course Atlas

The National Course Atlas ( is an online repository published annually with course offerings from 4,300+ colleges, universities, community colleges, corporate universities, schools and growing list of alternative education providers. The Course Atlas is the foundation database of CollegeTransfer.Net housing courses, course equivalencies, transfer guides and transfer profiles.
Preparing and publishing course offerings is a means to present detail curriculum to students, other institutions and advisors who reference the course offerings for planning and academic purposes. There are many reasons why an institution publishes course listings and catalogs. One major reason is to support those seeking to make comparisons when they need to assess learning comparability, applicability and articulation for transfer. Validation of course catalogs and course inventory in our National Course Atlas ensures a smooth import of course equivalency data and helps students, advisors and other institutions reference your academic offerings. Your courses can be viewed online and associated with course equivalency decisions made by your institution and others. In fact, through Web services, your courses and related course equivalencies can be viewed on smart phones like the iPhone, Windows7 Phones and Android through the AcademyOne's mobile app, the AcademicGPS. Please visit for more information on downloading the smart phone apps.
The National Course Atlas is primarily an online repository of currently offered courses. Yet, we do retain an archive of old courses by start and end date and the changes made to them as they evolve. This allows you to import courses on a snapshot as many times as you like. Each course reveals the detail course description and attributes. In addition, the course equivalencies can be accessed to help students seeking transferability disclosure. For instance, the screen below shows how a student enrolled in Drexel can discover comparable courses they may be able to take over the summer and transfer back to Drexel with advisor approval.
The Course Atlas houses over 3.5 million current college level course offerings from over 4,300 institutions of all types and the comparability links between the courses published by those same institutions. Historical course descriptions are not the focus of the Course Atlas, just like a collection of maps in an Atlas does not reveal old roads or bridges that have been taken down. Archival maps must be retrieved to find old roads, towns and cities as they once stood. The primary purpose of the Course Atlas is to afford the ability to compare current courses to allow a proactive focus on course planning.
The National Course Atlas is the only complete dataset offering a public index and search of associated college level course offerings. The repository offers free storage of course artifacts, including syllabi, which support academic assessment of prior learning through the tools offered by AcademyOne. All of the services and tools published on CollegeTransfer.Net utilize the Course Atlas.

Compiled from 4,300 institution websites and catalogs. 3.5+ million Courses.
Browse our course catalog of more than 3.4 million course descriptions at over 3,000 colleges, and find alternatives for nearly 60,000 courses.

(, a nonprofit, is a free platform for original tutorial videos and assessments, and users earn virtual badges for mastering a given subject. Codecademy ( offers free, hands-on online programming courses and exercises. Coursera (, a for-profit online educator, partners with colleges, universities and other institutions to offer courses that are free to take, but there is typically associated course work—graded via machine or by peers—and there might be a charge for an optional course-end certificate.

About Open Courses

About Coursera

We offer high quality courses from the top universities, for free to everyone. We currently host courses from Princeton University, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and University of Pennsylvania. We are changing the face of education globally, and we invite you to join us.

find, listen, and discuss free lectures from around the web


Open Courseware Collections - University

The list below contains courseware offered by various . This list is by no means all-inclusive, so you might want to try a search for a specific college to see what you can find. The colleges below offer more than one course or, like "Berklee Shares", a broad perspective on one topic. Columbia University Interactive
  1. — A gateway to selected electronic learning resources developed at Columbia University.
  2. Berklee Shares — Free music lessons that you can download, share and trade with your friends and fellow musicians.
  3. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative — OLI courses are designed to support you to learn a subject at the introductory college level.
  4. Duke Law Center for the Public Domain — News, lectures, links to various other resources within the site and on the Web. Projects range from the arts to international law issues.
  5. Fulbright Economics Teaching Program — FETP is a resource for people who work or study in policy-related fields to increase their knowledge and explore new approaches to learning and curriculum development.
  6. Harvard Extension School — Course-related materials are supported by videotaped lectures.
  7. Gresham College — Find lectures in various topics that are also available as audio and video files.
  8. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health — This project provides access to content of the School's most popular courses, from adolescent to refugee health.
  9. MIT — Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a wide variety of open courses from aeronautics and astronautics to writing and humanistic studies.
  10. Open University — Originating from the U.K., this collection ranges from arts and history to technology.
  11. Tufts University — Six separate schools, from dentistry to the School of Arts and Sciences.
  12. United Nations University — UNU promotes the idea of a Global Learning Space for science and technology.
  13. University of California, Irvine — This college offers the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) and a few other courses.
  14. University of Notre Dame — From Africana studies to theology, students can take advantage of options within numerous Notre Dame departments.
  15. University of Washington — This one is a bit tricky, as they offer free online courses through this link, but you can also find free materials through various departments outside this official online learning program.
  16. Utah State University — Available departments online range from anthropology to wildland resources.

Podcasts - University

Georgia College & State University (see # below) was among the first of many campuses to put together an academic program using iPods when it launched a few pilot programs in 2002. Today, there are active iPod programs on many other campuses around the country. Therefore, the list below is limited when compared to how many campuses will take on this technology by this upcoming fall quarter/semester.
  1. Alleghany College — News and events, conferences, etc.
  2. American University — Podcast collections from this university's Washington College of Law.
  3. — Georgia College & State University provides a virtual learning community, courseware, and technology advances through this site.
  4. Arizona State University — Lectures and speakers.
  5. Berkeley on iTunes — Listen to events about the arts, education, politics, science and technology - extensive collection..
  6. Buffalo State College — Lectures, forums, events, and more.
  7. Cambridge University — Popular science broadcasts, including Science Festival Podcasts presented by Carol Vorderman.
  8. Center for International Studies — University of Chicago's Chiasmos, a source for international events.
  9. Chicago GSB — Chicago University's Graduate School of Business thought leadership on current topics affecting companies and organizations around the globe.
  10. Classics Podcasts — Ever want to hear the news in Latin? Visit more links to readings of Latin and (ancient) Greek texts, brought to you by Bryn Mawr's Haverford College.
  11. College of DuPage Codcasts — Classes, lectures, arts & leisure, and special topics.
  12. College of St. Scholastica Podcasts — Visit the links on this page to find numerous course-specific lectures and speakers.
  13. Distance Learning Podcast — Western Kentucky University's Podcasts for students and teachers.
  14. Drexel CoAS Talks — Podcasts, Screencasts and Vodcasts(for video iPod) of talks or seminars in the College of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University.
  15. Educator's Corner — The Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders lecture series takes place every Wednesday during the academic quarters at Stanford University. Listen to archived materials.
  16. Front Row — Boston College offers free access through streaming media to tapes of cultural and scholarly events.
  17. Georgetown University Forum — A weekly radio program that highlights Georgetown University faculty's research and expertise.
  18. Harvard Business Online — A free Podcast featuring breakthrough ideas and commentary from leading thinkers in business and management.
  19. Havens Center — The University of Wisconsin-Madison's audios that are focused on the study of social structure and social change.
  20. Insead Podcasts — Knowledgecasts and Leadercasts from one of Europe's elite business programs.
  21. Johns Hopkins — Audio recordings from Johns Hopkins' faculty and alumni.
  22.;jsessionid=a830395ee425b1f6c714?CFID=16084202&CFTOKEN=67288983&jsessionid=a830395ee425b1f6c714 — Podcast archive for news and lectures at the University of Pennsylvania.
  23. Lewis & Clark Law School — Events and speakers on law.
  24. London School of Economics — Podcasts of public lectures and events.
  25. Montclair State University — Interesting list from English department - mostly Noam Chomsky, but other lectures on Medieval literature to Vietnam War here as well. Some video.
  26. NOVA — Nova currently offers four different Podcasts.
  27. Perdue Boilercast — List of various Podcasts.
  28. Princeton University Channel — A collection of public affairs lectures, panels and events from academic institutions all over the world.
  29. Princeton University's Event Streaming Media — Special events, lectures, sports, etc.
  30. SAIS — The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., part of Johns Hopkins University, offers news and events.
  31. Southwest Tech's CourseCasts — Various course topics.
  32. Stanford on iTunes — Download faculty lectures, interviews, music and sports.
  33. Swarthmore College University Lectures — Lectures on various topics.
  34. Times-Online MBA Broadcasts — Ten of the world's leading business thinkers provide the latest thinking in economics, management, finance, strategy, and marketing.
  35. UCLA Bruincast — Course topic Podcasts.
  36. University of Arizona College of Law — Lectures and Seminars.
  37. University of Bath — "BathPods" from a public lecture series where leading names from the worlds of science, humanities, and engineering talk about the latest research in their field.
  38. University of British Columbia — UBC offers a wide variety of UBC-related digital content, from public lectures and talks to student-created music and more.
  39. University of Connecticut — Podcasts about general psychology.
  40. University of New South Wales — Podcast lectures that relate to health and fetal development.
  41. University of Nottingham — Browse through current issues, latest research and events.
  42. University of Oregon UO Channel — Interviews, documentaries, lectures.
  43. University of Virginia — Podcasts and Webcasts for news, events, and lectures.
  44. University of Warwick — Hear university experts comment on important issues, their research and events.
  45. University of Washington TV — This university project offers their "premiers" as Podcasts. You can also watch these shows as video.
  46. Vanderbilt University — Interviews, lectures, news, and events.
  47. Weber University — Lectures and speakers.
  48. Yale University — A diverse collection from Yale's many schools.
  49. York College Podcast Lectures — Current focus on philosophy and psychology from City University, New York (CUNY).
Back to Index

Podcasts - Other

This list of Podcasts are not hosted or generated by any school of higher learning. But, they contain collections that can turn your brain on to the world around you.
  1. Evolution 101 — Dr. Zachary Moore offers Podcasts along with other resources on this topic.
  2. Global Voices — Global Voices is an international, volunteer-led project that collects, summarizes, and gives context to some of the best self-published content found on blogs, Podcasts, photo sharing sites, and videoblogs from around the world, with a particular emphasis on countries outside of Europe and North America.
  3. Listening to Words — Find, listen to, and discuss free lectures from around the Web.
  4. Logically Critical — Don't be afraid to think. Visit this site, listen to the Podcasts, and agree to agree or disagree.
  5. Ludwig Von Mises Institute — Use the links on this page to gain access to Podcasts and video.
  6. Maria Lectrix — Six days a week of audiobooks - mystery, history, adventure, devotion - for people with Catholic tastes.
  7. NPR — National Public Radio offers several venues to learn about various topics through articles and Podcasts.
  8. Open Source — Christopher Lydon brings hot topics to online listening through Public Radio International (PRI).
  9. Neo-Latin Colloquia — Graduate students and faculty associated with the UK Institute for Latin Studies are creating a variety of materials for the renewed study and enjoyment of neo-Latin colloquia scholastica, texts that date primarily from the 16th century. This is housed at STOA, the Consortium for Electronic Publication in the Humanities.
  10. Point of Inquiry — Point of Inquiry is the premiere Podcast from the Center for Inquiry, drawing on CFI’s relationship with the leading minds of the day including Nobel Prize-winning scientists, public intellectuals, social critics and thinkers, and renowned entertainers.
  11. Scientific American — Enjoy 60-second science Podcasts or longer interviews with leading scientists and journalists.
  12. The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe — A weekly Podcast talkshow produced by the New England Skeptical Society (NESS) in association with the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) discussing the latest news and topics from the world of the paranormal, fringe science, and controversial claims from a scientific point of view.
  13. Shakespeare by Another Name — MP3 audio files that discuss some of the stories, themes and characters in the book, Shakespeare By Another Name.
  14. Sound of Young America — Public radio's "funniest, most fascinating interview program," available free on the air, on the Web or by Podcast.

10 Websites Offering Free Online Teacher Education/Earn the Lowest-Cost college credit from free courses!

Many universities and nonprofit organizations offer free, online education courses for amateur instructors, aspiring teachers and licensed educators. Topics of study can range from early childhood care and instructional design to music and science education. Some may even allow teachers to earn the professional development credits needed to renew their licenses.

Earn the Lowest-Cost college credit from free courses!

Most free courses don't lead to college credit. Education Portal Academy's free courses do!
Here's how it works:
1. Watch free video lessons.
2. Take free quizzes.
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Information and Requirements for Free Online Teacher Education Websites

Teachers can take the following courses, seminars and workshops online for free without having to apply to a university program or fulfill prerequisites. As a result, not all of the courses offer credit for completing them. However, some universities grant course credit to those who pay a fee. These courses might also be approved as professional development or continuing education by state education departments. Teachers who complete these classes might be able to apply credit toward license renewal.
Course materials can be accessed at any time and come in the form of embedded videos, reading materials, downloadable files and Web page links. To access these materials, students usually need a high-speed Internet connection. Multimedia plug-ins, like Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Acrobat Reader or Apple's QuickTime, may also be required. These software programs can be downloaded for free.

List of Free Online Teacher Education Websites

Early Education and Care in Inclusive Settings at the University of Massachusetts - Boston

Free PowerPoint presentations help learners assess their knowledge of eight core competency areas, such as child interaction, classroom assessment and program planning. Links to supplemental reading materials and self-assessment quizzes are also available. These quizzes can be printed and used to document professional development hours for early childhood educators in Massachusetts.

Tapping into Multiple Intelligences at Thirteen Ed Online

This free workshop is offered by Thirteen Ed Online's Concept to Classroom series. Learners have access to videos and lesson plans geared toward developing students' various types of learning capacities, such as linguistic, mathematical, musical and existential comprehension. Teachers seeking professional development hours can download a copy of the syllabus and a letter to their schools' administrators explaining how this workshop might be used for credit.

Teaching Evolution at PBS Teachers

This 8-session course covers such topics as the scientific process, natural selection and hominid migration. Online learners can watch videos of case studies and assess student work samples. Downloadable classroom resources, like excerpts of Darwin's letters and autobiography, are also available.

Using Film Music in the Classroom at The Open University

Teachers viewing this 8-hour course learn how movie soundtracks can be used to demonstrate character development or inspire student compositions. Course materials available for download include worksheets, videos and transcripts. A course outline can also be accessed as a Word document or as an eBook in the EPUB format. The course does not provide any professional development or degree credits.

Lessons From the Deep: Exploring the Gulf of Mexico's Deep-Sea Ecosystems at The College of Exploration

After creating a free account, learners can access an archive of videos, lesson plans, webinars and discussion forums. Topics of discussion include deep-sea coral, ocean literacy and underwater geology. The lessons cover research expeditions during 2002-2009 that were funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Educators can obtain credit from California State University - Fullerton's extended education program for a fee. All students receive a certificate of completion.

The Learning Classroom: Theory Into Practice at Annenberg Learner

This free course is for K-12 educators who want to facilitate their students' cognitive development. Over the course of 13 sessions, teachers can access writing assignments, videos and links to online reading materials. Course outlines are also available in PDF format. Students who pay a registration fee through participating universities can receive graduate credit. Some states also grant professional development credit to teachers who complete this course.

Teacher Development: Starter Kit for Teaching Online at Edutopia

The George Lucas Educational Foundation offers this free, online tutorial to teachers interested in creating online or blended learning environments. Available resources discuss online classroom management, asynchronous communication and discussion boards.

Teaching Students with Special Needs: Behaviour Management at the University of Southern Queensland

This 14-week course introduces topics in behavior modification and negative reinforcement. Teachers also learn how instructional modifications can deter disruptive behaviors. Course materials include lecture notes and writing assignments. The assigned textbook must be purchased separately. Students do not receive professional development or college credit for this course.

Intro to Instructional Design at Utah State University

Graduate-level course topics in curriculum development, implementation and evaluation are delivered via video lectures and PDF files. Worksheets for evaluating curriculum design or writing lesson plans are also included. Students do not receive credit for this course.

Gifted and Talented Education at the University of California - Irvine

This 4-part video lecture from UC - Irvine promotes education for gifted and talented students. Teachers can learn how to identify exceptional students and modify the curriculum to meet their needs. For an extra fee, this course is also available for credit through the UC - Irvine Extension.

Earn Real Credit from Free Courses

While the free courses above don't award credit directly, there are two widely recognized and affordable options for students to gain real college credit.

Option #1: Pass a CLEP Exam

The College Board's 33 CLEP exams allow you to test out of your general education requirements. Credit is accepted at 2/3 of colleges and universities in the U.S.

Option #2: Prepare a Portfolio helps you prepare a portfolio that proves your knowledge. A faculty expert then recommends how much credit should be awarded. The process is call 'prior learning assessment'.

Catalog of Free Online Courses 


Free Handbook for Online Teaching

Online Education Jobs  >  Learn to Teach Online
OnFree eBook for Teaching Online Coursesline college teachers can find learning tips and strategies for teaching online courses in a new, free e-book, produced by the University of Colorado at Denver.

The CU Online Handbook explores trends and issues with online learning, including how to make use of new technology. Articles cover topics such as:

• how teachers can transition from face-to-face to distance education
• how to use e-College
• how to use web 2.0 and informal learning techniques
• using blogs for educational purposes
• instructional uses of Twitter

The book can be downloaded as one PDF file, or you can pick and choose chapters to download individually. 

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Education Arcade

Education Arcade

MIT researchers are creating academically driven computer games that rival commercial products and make learning fun.
It's early afternoon on a Sunday at Boston's Museum of Science. Brittle winter light floods the lower lobby of the Green Wing, where about a dozen young students are huddled in teams, peering at Pocket PCs, their parents listening nearby. There's a palpable sense of urgency among the team members; everyone's shouting at once. Eleven-year-old Katie Long, a self-assured fifth grader from Wellesley, MA, steps in and takes charge of her group-two girls, one boy, a father, and two mothers-by fiat. She's figured out what to do with the technology and begins organizing her troop into attack formation.
The boisterous students are playing Hi-Tech Who Done It!, a crime-solving game created for the museum by MIT faculty and students. It incorporates handheld computers connected to the museum's wireless network, which the students are using to catch a thief. First, they use the Wi-Fi network to locate information stations that contain clues, and then they download the clues to their handhelds. Each team member has an assigned role, such as biologist, detective, or technologist; some of the clues are available only to certain characters. But all of the teammates can beam data they gather into each other's computers through the wireless network. The idea is to collect clues and objects, conduct interviews, and glean relevant facts from museum exhibits, sharing the accumulated information and using it to solve the case of a mysterious theft from the museum's collection. As it works its way through 11 exhibit rooms, the team becomes more comfortable with the technology and quickly establishes a modus operandi: gather information fast and worry about its meaning later. The students on Katie's team are exuberant, running from room to room, so enthused that their parents and a videographer taping the event can barely keep up. In the end, Katie's team solves the crime, arresting a security guard who has stolen the museum's mummy. But more, the students have learned how to work as a team.
Hi-Tech Who Done It! is part of a research project called the Education Arcade that aims to make computer and video games a valuable component of teaching. The undertaking is a collaboration between MIT and the University of Wisconsin-Madison and will ultimately bring together a consortium of educators, game designers, publishers, and policymakers to develop sophisticated games that range from quick demonstrations that illustrate points made in lectures to semester-long projects that support the content of courses. The educational games will be aimed at motivating high-school students or helping advanced-high-school or first-year college students learn complex concepts. Teachers will also benefit, as the Education Arcade is developing a website that will serve as a clearinghouse for lesson plans coordinated with existing commercial games, projects and programs to help students learn to create games, and online forums where teachers can share best practices with their peers.

The Transfer Services Network (TSN) is a Community of Colleges and Universities Supporting the Publication and Coordination of Transfer Information Services.

The Transfer Services Network (TSN) is the authoritative transfer and articulation gateway for postsecondary students and education providers. TSN provides students and academic professionals with a one-stop platform to enable transfer between institutions and across academic programs. TSN facilitates transfer processes that respect the unique academic histories presented by students. Methods and standards for academic credit portability across individual institutions are respected and disclosed to students.
  • Join 1,000 and growing institutions across the United States working together. 
  • Share a common repository for course offerings and equivalencies.
  • Post your learning outcomes and course artifacts to enable alignment between senders and receivers.  
  • Enable pathways proactively.  Reduce the load reactively.
  • Help students realize their investment in learning through Course Transferability Disclosure.
  • Help your institutions align curriculum and improve the view of relevancy in today's highly competitive world.
  • Promote program and course transferability important to prospective students and their advisors. 
  • Become a transfer friendly institution focused on outcomes and student success.

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