Banner image for the edX high school initiative.

Last week, edX announced their new high school initiative: 26 MOOCs specifically geared to the needs and interests of high school students around the world. As edX CEO Anant Agarwal wrote in the announcement:

Studies show that nearly 60 percent of first-year U.S. college students are unprepared for postsecondary studies. This readiness gap between college eligibility and preparedness is costly not only to students, but also to families and institutions.

Our new initiative will address this severe gap and help alleviate these costly disparities, while also meeting the needs of edX learners who have expressed interest in additional entry-level college course offerings – 90 percent of edX learners according to a 2013 survey.

As I’ve written about in the past, these courses could also provide a path to life-long continuous education, where students come into college after having taken their first-year subjects through MOOCs or other AP* courses, study on campus for two years, then enter the workforce to gain real-world skills, taking MOOCs, community college courses or other online courses as needed throughout their career.

Covering subject areas that range from mathematics to science, English and history, and even college advising and AP onramps, edX high school MOOCs will provide students within the U.S. and around the world the opportunity to pursue challenging, advanced coursework. Currently, 22 high school courses are open for registration, and all 26 will launch within a few months.

MITx is contributing several courses. For physics, 8.MechCx: Advanced Introductory Classical Mechanics begins on January 8, 2015.  A calculus sequence will be offered in three parts, beginning with 18.01.1x Calculus 1A: Differentiation in 3Q 2015.

Also, be sure to check out OCW’s Highlights for High School, our collection of open educational resources for high school students and teachers. With test prep for biology, chemistry, calculus and physics, and other great resources across a wide range of STEM and humanities topics, it’s got something for everyone.