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1st Global Freshman Academy course kicks off

Intro to Solar Systems Astronomy is the first ASU Global Freshman Academy class

ASU professor Frank Timmes will teach the first Global Freshman Academy course, AST 111: Introduction to Solar Systems Astronomy, a seven-week open, digitally enabled course that starts Thursday. More than 12,400 students from 163 countries are already enrolled, and enrollment is still open.

August 19, 2015

Students in the inaugural course of the groundbreaking Global Freshman Academy log in and start class Thursday.

More than 12,400 students from 163 countries enrolled in AST 111: Introduction to Solar Systems Astronomy will begin their first lesson of the seven-week open, digitally enabled course. The course is taught by Frank Timmes, who has also taught this course in a traditional on-campus format and for ASU Online. Timmes is a professor in Arizona State University's School of Earth and Space Exploration.

Enrollment is still open for students who wish to take the course.

ASU has partnered with edX to give learners anywhere in the world the opportunity to earn freshman-level university credit after successfully completing each course. All courses are thoughtfully designed and taught by ASU faculty on the edX platform, delivering the high-quality education expected from a tier-1 research university.

“We’re thrilled to see such a diverse and large group of students who are eager to take this step in their education,” said Phil Regier, the CEO of EdPlus and University Dean for Educational Initiatives. “The Global Freshman Academy is a new model, showing that a university does not have to be marked by exclusivity, and acts as a critical bridge into quality higher education.”

The Global Freshman Academy is open to everyone and represents a new kind of accessibility in higher education. No application or transcripts are required, and enrollment is instant. Students don’t have to pay for credit until they know they’ve passed the course. 

In October, the next two classes are scheduled to begin: Human Origins and Western Civilization: Ancient and Medieval Europe.

For more information about the Global Freshman Academy, please visit Students can register here.