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This morning I saw an article written by the California Faculty Association. The CFA’s mission is to ensure quality education for the students in California, fairness to their teachers, and policies that ensure access to higher education. The article specifically discusses our pilot program with San Jose State University, SJSUPlus.
I am very moved to see this article. I had been informally communicating with members of the CFA for quite some time, and their input and guidance had an impact on how this pilot is structured. Moreover, I find myself in strong agreement that quality and educational outcomes matter above anything else; that access is a key ingredient of higher education, but also that there is a need to experiment, get data, and honestly and truthfully study the data to make sure we don’t prematurely go for solutions that do not work.
I want to publicly thank the California Faculty Association and the faculty of San Jose State University for an ongoing dialog, which I hope will intensify as this pilot goes forward. Udacity has a strong interest in learning more about the new MOOC approach to online education. We are committed to explore new ways to make it work well for all students, not just the highly self-motivated ones. And we are committed to put students, quality, and the integrity of SJSU professors ahead of everything else.
This is a time to learn, and I am excited that we are ready to try.
– Sebastian Thrun