Shai Reshef shares the remarkable story of the creation of the University of the People, which has grown from an initial small class of students in 2008 to over 55,000 low-income students all over the world today. Reshef founded University of the People after a successful career as an educational technology entrepreneur, setting out to leverage these technologies to launch the world’s first free US-accredited asynchronous online university with a goal of serving the 100 million+ talented young people who lack access to a quality education. The University of the People has been able to make remarkable progress toward this ambitious goal by adopting a peer learning model overseen by a huge volunteer faculty workforce. It offers undergraduate and Master’s degrees in the high-demand areas of Business, Nursing, and Computer Science; courses are free, but students who want college credit pay for the final proctored assessment, with the cost of a full degree about $4800 and scholarships to support those who can’t afford that.
David Finegold is the president of Chatham University.