Albany State University First In Nation to Combine and StraighterLine into College “On-Ramp” to Serve Adult and Traditional Students

Albany State University First In Nation to Combine and StraighterLine into College “On-Ramp” to Serve Adult and Traditional Students

6 minute read

“Starting college before college” helps students reduce costs and increase success. ALBANY, GA -- Albany State University (ASU) is attacking the triple problems of college completion, rising tuition and poor college preparation by encouraging students to “Start College Before College.” By entering into credit equivalency agreements with, a service that evaluates a student’s college level learning acquired outside the traditional classroom for college credit, and StraighterLine, an online provider of early college courses, students can earn credit for what they already know and take freshman level courses at a fraction of the Georgia-mandated tuition without drawing on taxpayer funds. Research shows that students who start college with credit are more likely to complete their degree than those that don’t. Further, companies like StraighterLine are offering online courses at prices far below those charged by traditional colleges. Both prior learning assessment (PLA) services and StraighterLine’s early college courses have been reviewed and recommended for college credit by the American Council on Education’s Credit Recommendation Service. Dr. Everette Freeman, President of Albany State University said, “rising tuition and dwindling sources of student financial support are pricing a college education out of reach for many students. For those that do enroll, a disturbing number do not earn a degree. As stewards of taxpayer funds and conscientious educators, we believe that giving students the opportunity to get as far as they can prior to enrollment is simply the right thing to do.” Dr. Freeman went on to note that he believes the “On-Ramp” could serve as a model for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the state of Georgia, and even the nation. “President Obama issued a challenge to make sure that every student had at least one year of college. Vice President Biden issued a report recommending that higher education embrace alternative pathways to a degree. Albany State is doing its part.” Burck Smith, the CEO of StraighterLine said that “by creating the ‘On-Ramp,’ Albany State is leading the way in alternative pathways that lead to the front door of college.” Mark Campbell, Vice President of at the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and, agreed, adding, “all students, but particularly adult students, need alternative pathways to college completion. Albany State, by focusing on these pathways to college success will help hundreds, if not thousands of students.” Students can enroll in both services from the “On-Ramp to Albany State,” a single website from which students can receive information about ASU, learn about’s cost saving and credit acceleration options, and take advantage of discounts on StraighterLine services. About Albany State University Albany State University, a Historically Black Institution located in Southwest Georgia, is a comprehensive, coeducational, and liberal arts institution that offers undergraduate and graduate curricula.  Albany State University provides innovative instructional and professional programs through its four academic colleges (Sciences and Health Professions, Business, Education, and Arts and Humanities), offering nearly 50 graduate and undergraduate degree programs. Albany State University continues to fulfill its traditional mission and through its teaching, research, creative expression and service seeks to promote the growth and development of Southwest Georgia, the state and the nation.  Albany State is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Education Specialist degrees and its professional schools and programs hold several specialized accreditations such as National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, the National League for Nursing, the Georgia Board of Nursing, Council on Social Work Education, etc. A regional institution of higher learning, Albany State University is a unit of the University System of Georgia. About StraighterLine StraighterLine has been recognized as a revolutionizing force in education bymajor news organizations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for offering students online courses that earn real college credit for just $99 a month.  Fast Company named StraighterLine one of the 10 Most Innovative Companies in Education” and our students love us. In order to facilitate the award of credit, StraighterLine has forged partnerships with leading accredited online colleges and universities.  A student ultimately earns a degree from those institutions but realizes tremendous savings and convenience by starting with StraighterLine. StraighterLine’s courses are evaluated and recommended by the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT).  In addition to the institutions with which StraighterLine has a direct relationship, more than 150 other schools are reported to have accepted StraighterLine coursework for transfer credit. Compared to online courses from a typical college or university, StraighterLine’s courses have been found to offer equal academic rigor but significantly more affordability and convenience.  Students earn real college credit and see StraighterLine courses help them complete a degree. Currently, StraighterLine offers 23 entry-level college courses online in the Sciences, Humanities, English, Math and Business.  An additional 15 college courses will be available during the 2011 back to school season. For information, visit or call 1-877-str8erline (1-877-787-8375). About is operated by CAEL, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning,, a national leader in Prior Learning Assessment and college degree completion. is funded by the Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation, Walmart Foundation, Joyce Foundation, the State Street Foundation, and USA Funds. serves as a comprehensive Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) resource for  adult learners, postsecondary institutions, employers and workforce organizations. PLA is the evaluation and assessment of an individual’s college level learning acquired outside the traditional classroom for possible college credit.  College level learning may be acquired through work, employer training programs, military service and training, independent study, volunteer or community service, and open source courseware. offers advising, and referrals to PLA partners, as well as a prior learning portfolio development course (CAEL 100: Prior Learning Assessment Theory and Practice), which teaches adult students how to recognize and fully document their college learning by developing a written portfolio, which is then reviewed by a national faculty content expert for possible college credit. works closely with ACE, the College Board and numerous others to facilitate the success of adult learners.

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