In April 2020, Hank and John Green‘s Crash Course channel partnered with Arizona State University to launch Study Hall. The program offered college-level education in an at-home setting and eventually evolved into its own channel.
A new initiative led by ASU, Crash Course, and YouTube will turn Study Hall into a fully-accredited program. Visitors to the channel can now enroll in a series of “College Foundations” courses, which are taught by ASU faculty and can be taken for college credit.
Enrollment for College Foundations opens today. The seven-week courses are set to begin on March 7, 2023. Instruction is available for four subjects: English Composition, College Math, US History, and Human Communication.
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Study Hall’s College Foundations begin with free-to-watch intros that resemble typical Crash Course videos. If, after watching, a learner decides they want a more thorough education, they can pay $25 to enroll in the full course. To receive credit, students must pay an additional $400. Anyone who preregisters before the March 7 start date receives a $50 discount on the credit fee.
During a press briefing, ASU EVP of Learning Enterprise Maria Anguiano told Tubefilter that the two payments are treated like any other course fee. YouTube is not taking a cut of that money — in this collaboration, the platform’s only means of moneymaking will come from any ads that run on the Crash Course videos.
The prices associated with Study Hall’s College Foundations are significant, but still far below typical in-person tuition rates. The goal of the partnership is to serve students whose path to higher education is impeded by high costs. “We’re meeting learners where they are,” Anguiano said. “Ultimately, they’re on YouTube, and we’re excited to democratize access to education and opportunity.”
Katie Kurtz, YouTube’s Global Head of Learning, called ASU “the most innovative university in the country.” By teaming up with the Tempe, Arizona-based school, YouTube is assisting the Sun Devil faculty as it breaks down educational barriers.
“I believe we can harness this intrinsic motivation to learn in informal settings like YouTube into a path to formal education,” Kurtz said during the briefing. She said that learns who “never believed there was a path for them” might find new opportunities via Study Hall.
Kurtz said there’s “room for more partnerships” of this ilk, but for now, YouTube is focused on the March 7 launch of ASU’s College Foundations. If the digital courses prove popular, it could “inspire other universities to pursue affordable education,” according to Kurtz.
Though the Study Hall initiative is (currently) unique, there is plenty more educational programming available on YouTube. Last year, the platform launched a distraction-free player for use in schools while also adding support for first-party Courses and Quizzes. Some top YouTube creators have co-opted the site’s learned mission. MrBeast, for example, has partnered with East Carolina University to train editors, artists, and other online video professionals in his home state.
For more information about Study Hall, check out the program’s official website.