A new initiative in online learning intending to help low-income adults achieve an associate's degree is set to launch in Colorado and then California before expanding to selected cities nationwide.
MyCollege Foundation is partnering with Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles in this program that aims to give students who are strong on grit and drive the chance to gain the skills and confidence to earn a two-year degree, without taking on extensive debt before advancing toward a bachelor's degree.
Partly funded by a $3 million grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Portmont College at Mount St. Mary's plans to offer four fields of study: business administration, computer science, liberal arts, and pre-health science. The concept is the brainchild of Portmount President Srikant Vasan, developed in part while he served as entrepreneur-in-residence at the Gates Foundation.
The Portmont program starts with face-to-face instruction with professors during kick-off orientation, followed by online coursework. It will also have support services to ensure that students graduate.
Students can transfer their credits to four-year institutions to complete a bachelor's. Portmont will launch in Denver, followed by San Francisco. Classes in Denver start on March 4.