December 3, 2023

A recent Pew Research Center survey found that nearly one in five American teenagers are on YouTube “almost constantly.” Ten years ago, this number would certainly not have been so high, and twenty years ago, of course, Youtube did not exist at all. But today, no business aimed at teenagers can afford to ignore it: this applies, of course, to popular music and fashion, but also to education. Most of the kids who are just starting college are on Youtube, but so are those who are about to start college, those who are taking time off from college, and those who aren’t even sure if they’re even willing or able to go to college. Therefore, College Foundation, a new extension of the Study Hall YouTube channel, a product of a partnership between Arizona State University, YouTube and Crash Course.

Crash Course has long produced video series that provide fun and comprehensive coverage of school subjects from history to literature to philosophy and more. The College Foundation program will not only allow you to study in the classroom, but also earn real college credits.

“Students interested in formal instruction beyond watching videos can pay a $25 fee to enroll in an ASU online course that includes interaction with other students and instructors,” writes Susan D’Agostino of Inside Higher Education. After completing the course, “the student can decide if they would like to pay the $400 to record the grade and receive ASU credit.”

Registration is now open for the first four courses, College Foundations, English Composition, College Math, US History, and Human Communication, all of which begin March 7. (Those who sign up before that start date will receive a $50 discount.) “Once you’re in the course, you can email a successful coach to help you with assignments,” writes TechCrunch’s Aisha Malik. “You can complete your coursework when it suits you, but you will have weekly deadlines for most courses. If you want to access additional support, some instructors have optional office hours.” This kind of learning experience could become a bridge between YouTube life and college life—the latter of which is addressed with characteristic YouTube directness in the existing Study Hall course, “How to College school”.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcastson cities, language and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books about cities, book The Stateless City: A Walking Tour of 21st Century Los Angeles and video series City in cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

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