This fantastic list was put together by a couple members of the InstantCert forum community. I encourage you to visit the forum if you’re considering distance learning colleges for your teen- it’s the single best resource on the web.
As a homeschooler of high school students, here’s what you should know before you read on:
ALL (but one) of these freebies awards ACE credit. As such, their transfer is very limited. If your teen is several years away from high school graduation and selecting a target college, you may want to use these just for fun, and if he gets credit later- that’s a bonus. You can bundle these together into high school electives too. But, if you’re getting close to enrollment or you’ve already selected a target college, you’ll want to confirm that they accept ACE credit before investing too much time in these.
The Institutes (2 college credits)
The American Institute For Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (commonly referred to as “The Institutes”) offer a free ethics course that is ACE recommended for 2 credits.
- 312N-H Ethics and the CPCU Code of Professional Conduct (2 credits) – an upper-level ethics/philosophy course that meets TESU‘s General Education “ethics” requirement. (it meets 2 of the 3 credit requirement – you might have to ask for an exception to be made for the last credit, but typically this is automatically granted. The 3rd credit can be made up as a general ed elective).
To signup, use the following link: http://www.theinstitutes.org/comet/learning_modules/cpcu_ethics.htm
Select the FREE option. You should not do the $5 option. The paid option is for “Continuing Education credit,” which is different than college credit. The free version is ACE approved for college credit.
National Fire Academy (2 college credits)
The National Emergency Training Center/National Fire Academy (NFA) offers two free courses that are ACE-recommended for 1 credit each.
- Q0118 Self-Study Course for Community Safety Educators (1 credit)
- Q0318 Fire Service Supervision: Self Study (1 credit)
To signup, use the following link and find these two course codes in the list: Q0118, Q0318: http://apps.usfa.fema.gov/nfacourses/catalog/search?&&forget=true&courseCode=Q
After you are enrolled, use this login URL to take the classes: https://nfa.plateau.com/learning/user/login.jsp
Sophia – Developing Effective Teams (1 credit)
Sophia offers a number of paid ACE-approved courses that are fairly expensive. However, they do offer a free 1 credit course:
- SOPH-0021 – Developing Effective Teams (1 credit)
You can sign up for the course at https://www.sophia.org/online-courses/developing-effective-teams
TEEX Cybersecurity (6 college credits)
Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) offers three ACE-approved courses recommended for 2 credits each. These are DHS/FEMA funded and therefore free for the general public to take.
- Cyber 101 – Cybersecurity for Everyone (2 credits)
- Cyber 201 – Cybersecurity for IT Professionals (2 credits)
- Cyber 301 – Cybersecurity for Business Professionals (2 credits)
To signup, use the following link and make sure you sign up for all classes under these three headings, there are multiple courses per heading: Cyber 101, 201, 301: https://teex.org/Pages/Program.aspx?catID=607
After you are enrolled, use this login URL to take the classes: https://my.teex.org
FEMA Independent Study (over 40 college credits)
- NOTE: FEMA is NOT ACE evaluated for credit. As such, FEMA IS courses are only acceptable as transfer credit at Charter Oak State College and two other small 2-year colleges. IF you’re planning to attend COSC, you can fill the ENTIRE lower level elective requirement for an Associate’s of Science (30 cr) an Associate’s of Arts (15 cr) or bachelor’s degrees (30+) using only FEMA. Cost: $0
The Federal Emergency Management Agency operates an online Independent Study program offering approximately 197 courses online for free. Only certain ones are acceptable as transfer credit at Charter Oak State College.
The current list of FEMA courses worth college credit can be found here.