Posted in Breaking News, Self-Paced Learning

ALEKS Math…going, going, ____

ALEKS Math (McGraw Hill) is an online self-teaching, self-grading math curriculum that charges users a small fee ($20/month) and promises college credit with a passing assessment.  Our family first used ALEKS (before the McGraw Hill acquisition) in 2009.  My oldest son completed most of their college credit maths : Beginning Algebra,  Intermediate Algebra, College Algebra, Pre-Calculus, Statistics, and Business Statistics before graduating high school.  If you’re counting, that’s 18 potential college credits.

While not perfect, there were significant advantages to the ALEKS math program for homeschooled teens.  I promoted ALEKS math a few times on my Facebook page.  Besides eliminating test-taking anxiety associated with dual enrollment and CLEP exams, a parent could track progress and spread the cost out over the entire school year.  A big downside, unfortunately, is that the credit is ACE evaluated, and that means it isn’t accepted everywhere.  In fact, it’s really not accepted by most colleges.  But, debating the pros and cons seems futile at this point.

September 30, 2013.  ALEKS’ ACE evaluation (needed for subscribers to earn college credit) was expired and they were very slow to reapply.  While those “in progress” waited patiently, ALEKS promised renewal and their ACE evaluation was renewed about 3 months later.  That small interruption of service was curious.  Having college credit pulled from your business model can mean certain death in the college credit business, unless you have hundreds of thousands of other irons in the fire. (They did)

ALEKS’ growth took off. They crept into the k-12 market, and became a dominating presence in the community college mathematics division.  ALEKS is no longer a gem used by homeschoolers, they are major players in artificial intelligence k-12 education.  Even my own local community college switched all of their developmental and online math courses over to ALEKS.  Interestingly, the same college wouldn’t award my son credit for the ALEKS math credit he already earned.

Currently, ALEKS’ ACE evaluation is set to expire on November 30, 2016.  From my inside source at ACE, it appears as if ALEKS has not submitted a renewal application.  For families using the program, this means they’ll either have to power through and finish their coursework in the next 3 days, or abandon the curriculum entirely.  It’s possible that they’ll renew, and if they do, you’ll hear about it here as soon as that happens.  For now, it looks like this program is going, going,…