edX Starts MicroBachelors, a New Credential for an Undergraduate Degree

The edX organization has started to quietly develop a “MicroBachelors” degree, designed to break the undergraduate credential into modular components, according to edSurge. The project, now in the early stages, has received a $700,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation. It is part of edX long-term vision that began with its MicroMaster program.

“Education in five to ten years will become modular, omnichannel, and lifelong. We are going to make it so,” said Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX, during a higher-education innovation summit hosted by the U.S. Department of Education.

“We will launch MicroBachelors within the next year or two and do the same modularization with the bachelor’s degree,” he said. “We’ve already launched Global Freshman Academy with ASU, that is a precursor to the MicroBachelors.”

Sanjay Sarma, vice president for open learning at MIT, said to edSurge.com that while his institution is not working on a MicroBachelors degree, he thinks the concept is a natural extension of MicroMasters. “It’s more for folks who couldn’t attend college.” 

The big idea is offering online a low-cost, low-risk way for students to start an undergraduate education even if they can’t get to a campus.