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Buy Only What You Need: New Continuing Ed Venture Offers A La Carte Course Pricing

A statistics course will be Duke's first continuing education class offered for purchase in individual parts.

Duke will soon launch a new online, noncredit statistics course with an unusual feature: it will be Duke’s first continuing education course broken into three sections for a la carte purchase.

Aimed at working professionals, Data, Statistical Inference, and Modeling is taught by Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel, a statistical science professor.

Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel

Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel

The course begins in mid-February and can be purchased whole for $395, or by individual module -- $85 for Introduction to Data and Probability – and $185 each for Statistical Inference and Regression Models.

Participants who successfully complete all requirements for a module or for the entire course will receive a noncredit Certificate of Completion documenting Continuing Education Units (CEUs) earned. 

Offering a continuing education course in segments is a new venture at Duke. Here, Carl Melle, director of new program development with Duke Continuing Studies, discusses it with Duke Today.

Why go with the a la carte model?

The decision to create short modules targeting specific skills is based on consumer behavior. We know adults prefer short modules to learn particular skills. Our aim is to provide affordable public access to Duke instruction in a focused manner to accommodate a variety of professional needs.

Who do you expect your primary student audience to be?

We anticipate attracting professionals from around the world who prefer to learn online as part of a relatively small community. Professor Çetinkaya-Rundel’s "Data, Statistical Inference, and Modeling" course holds potential appeal for individuals working in marketing, management, business performance, politics, health care and pharmaceutical companies, education, and dozens of other employment sectors. 

Do you expect to expand this to other courses?

Our plan is to offer four more online, noncredit courses in 2015. Duke Continuing Studies welcomes the opportunity to work with Duke faculty to explore how their course content can serve public education.

Do some academic topics lend themselves to this style of teaching better than others? Are some topics and courses more easily chunked up into individual modules than others?

I find it is best to explain the purpose and aim of offering courses like this to faculty and rely on them to determine if and how the content can be chunked to serve professional needs. My job is to listen to the professors, reflect on their comments, examine the course content, and determine if the chunks of content align with global workforce needs.

I’m impressed with and grateful for the willingness of faculty to organize their course content to meet the needs of adult education. Several have offered to add content to the chunks to make their particular class more relevant for professional skills.  

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