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FAMU Unveils New Online Learning Program

Joseph Zeballos-Roig for WFSU News

FAMU unveiled a new program aimed at pioneering online learning methods for minority middle and high-school students and helping them get ready for college.

The program is the result of a year-long alliance between FAMU’s Research School, the University of Phoenix and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. 75 students are taking three online courses: Algebra I, Economics and Spanish.

Program liaison Sheila Labissiere says the program’s small size is due to a need for further development and to work out any kinks in the system.

“We didn’t want to make it too large and we didn’t want to have too many courses because there are kinks – and we needed to work these things through. It would have been difficult to have a large number of students that the teachers would have to still work with," Labissiere says. "We ended up keeping it at a small number. We knew we didn’t want to go over 100 starting off.”

The program allows FAMU DRS to make changes in the curriculum as it sees fit, unlike the virtual courses offered in other school districts in the state. There are plans to offer a total of eight courses later this fall and to introduce science classes like chemistry and biology.