Affordable College Credit for Students of Free Online College-Level Calculus Course

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --, the free education initiative of The Saylor Foundation, today announced a new credit pathway connecting students of Saylor's free online courses to inexpensive, portable college credit. Students who pass a secure exam for a free Calculus course will be awarded four hours of college credit by Excelsior College, potentially transferable to over 1,800 other institutions of higher education. has launched the course MA101-EXC: Single-Variable Calculus I, aligned to a college credit-bearing exam offered through regionally accredited non-profit Excelsior College via its UExcel® platform. This version of Single-Variable Calculus is the first aligned course to result from a formal partnership to provide low-cost college credit pathways, previously announced by Saylor and Excelsior in July 2012. Excelsior College recommends's free open educational resources (OER) to help students prepare for 23 of Excelsior's examinations.

Students can take the free MA101-EXC course and practice exam at any time. An optional practice exam is also available from UExcel for $18. When ready, students can take the credit-bearing UExcel exam for $95 at any of more than 4,200 Pearson VUE testing centers in over 170 countries.

Students who receive a passing grade will have it reported on an official Excelsior College transcript. UExcel exams are also recommended for credit by the American Council on Education (ACE), whose 1,800 member institutions will consider granting transfer credit to successful students.

Students do not need to be enrolled at Excelsior College to take any UExcel exam or the more than 40 Excelsior College® Examinations. Many students take these exams for potential transfer credit or advanced placement purposes at other colleges and universities, or to demonstrate proficiency in a particular subject area to employers.

The Saylor Foundation previously announced in December that three of its own course exams were recommended for transferable college credit by the National College Credit Recommendation Service (National CCRS; Board of Regents, University of the State of New York). MA101-EXC, aligned with a UExcel exam, is the fourth and newest course in's Student Credit Pathways program.

Students can use the courses in this program to potentially earn up to 13 credit hours for a low cost. The foundation is working in 2013 to expand affordable degree pathways for students by pursuing credit partnerships and aligning additional courses to credit-bearing exams through Excelsior College.

About The Saylor Foundation

The Saylor Foundation (under its legal name, The Constitution Foundation) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Foundation was established in 1999 by sole trustee Michael J. Saylor, the Chairman and CEO of the business intelligence company MicroStrategy, Inc. Since 2008, the Foundation's Free Education Initiative ( has focused on exploring the promise of the Internet to drive the cost of education to zero. Through 280 free courses as well as college credit pathways, serves as a zero-cost alternative for individuals who lack the resources to attend traditional brick-and-mortar institutions and as a complement to mainstream education providers.

About Excelsior College

Excelsior College is a regionally accredited, nonprofit distance learning institution that focuses on removing obstacles to the educational goals of adult learners. Founded in 1971 and located in Albany, NY, Excelsior is a proven leader in the assessment and validation of student knowledge. It offers more efficient and affordable access to degree completion through multiple avenues: its own online courses, and the acceptance in transfer of credit from other colleges and universities as well as recognized corporate and military training programs. Excelsior has been continuously accredited since 1977 by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

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CONTACT: Sean Connor The Saylor Foundation 202.333.4005 Jim Boyle Boyle Public Affairs, LLC 571.213.3979

Source:The Saylor Foundation