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Gov. Jerry Brown cheers new CSU online pilot project

January 15, 2013 | 11:09 am

SAN JOSE -- Gov. Jerry Brown was on hand Tuesday as California State University officials announced a new partnership with the online education company Udacity to offer three basic-skills courses this semester at San Jose State.

Brown has been an advocate for state colleges and universities to expand online course offerings as a way to keep students' costs down and ensure they can get the classes they need to graduate in a timely manner.

"The longer you stay [in college], the more you spend," Brown said. "Online is part of that solution."

He set aside $37 million in his latest budget plan for more Internet classes. Enrollment in the new algebra and statistics classes, for which students will be able to earn university credit, will be capped at 100 students per course.

Half of the slots will be reserved for university students and the other half for high school and college students and military veterans.

The classes will be taught by San Jose State faculty. Each course will cost $150, about 12% of the cost of the same course if it were taken in a classroom.

University spokeswoman Pat Harris said the new offerings will help students meet basic skills requirements. She estimates more than half of the university's students lack the basic math and English skills needed to graduate. She says state budget cuts have forced the school to limit the number of times students can take such basic courses.

Brown will continue his push for more online education at a meeting of the University of California Board of Regents in San Francisco on Wednesday.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento