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Spotlight on professional development: Harvard Extension School

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Harvard University is known for its prestigious status among the Ivy League schools. Harvard Extension School, however, is its go-to place for continuing education courses, where they have open enrollment for almost 60 different fields of study.

Online and traditional credit and non-credit courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels are available. Students do not have to be in a degree program to enroll. If students complete five courses satisfactorily within a focused area, they will receive either a professional online or on-campus certificates.

Accreditation is by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is allowed to grant liberal arts undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as professional certificates. The Arts and Sciences faculty of approve courses annually for the Extension School. Additionally, these courses can be counted toward the Associate in Arts in Extension Studies, Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies, and Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies that are at Harvard. For transfer credit, courses are generally accepted at most colleges and universities, but keep in mind that transfer credit policies can and will vary for each school.

In addition, Through the Harvard Extension School’s Open Learning Initiative, eight free online non-credit courses are currently offered, with accompanying videos from Harvard faculty, to the public. No registration is needed to view any of the lecture videos. The courses offered are: The Heroic and the Anti-Heroic in Classical Greek Civilization; Bits; Intensive Introduction to Computer Science; Shakespeare After All: The Later Plays; China: Traditions and Transformations; World War and Society in the Twentieth Century: World War II; Sets, Counting, and Probability; and Abstract Algebra.

Through their Division of Continuing Education, professional development programs provide short, non-credit courses. Programs are available for enrollment several times a year.

Harvard and MIT govern online MOOC provider, edX. If prospective students are interested in registering for any edX courses, visit the edX website for more information.

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