“Provided that too many faculties do not educate calculus, chemistry and physics, CalTech is permitting potential undergraduates to demonstrate their ability in these fields by using Khan Academy,” writes Slashdot reader Bruce66423. Los Angeles Occasions stories: One in all Caltech’s different paths is taking Khan Academy’s free, on-line lessons and scoring 90% or greater on a certification check. Sal Khan, academy founder, stated Caltech’s motion is a “big deal” for equitable entry to varsity. Whereas Caltech is small — solely 2,400 college students, about 40% of them undergraduates — Khan stated he hoped its prestigious popularity would encourage different establishments to look at their admission limitations and discover artistic options to ease them. The Pasadena-based institute, with a 3% admission price final yr, boasts 46 Nobel laureates and cutting-edge analysis in such fields as earthquake engineering, behavioral genetics, geochemistry, quantum data and aerospace. “You could have some of the academically rigorous faculties on the planet that has arguably one of many highest bars for admission, saying that another pathway that’s free and accessible to anybody is now a method to assembly their necessities,” stated Khan, whose nonprofit affords free programs, check prep and tutoring to greater than 152 million customers. […]
The impetus for the coverage change started in February, when Pallie, the admissions director, and two Caltech colleagues attended a workshop on fairness hosted by the Nationwide Assn. for School Admission Counseling. They had been significantly struck by one speaker, Melodie Baker of Simply Equations, a nonprofit that seeks to widen math alternatives. As Baker identified the dearth of entry to calculus for a lot of college students, Pallie and her workforce started to query Caltech’s admission requirement for the course, together with physics and chemistry. Pallie and Jared Leadbetter, a professor of environmental microbiology who heads the college admissions committee, started to look into potential course alternate options. Pallie linked with Khan’s workforce, which began a second nonprofit, Schoolhouse.world, throughout the pandemic in 2020 to supply free tutoring. Peer tutors on the platform certify they’re certified for his or her jobs by scoring not less than 90% on the course examination and videotaping themselves explaining how they solved every drawback on it. The video helps be certain that the scholars truly took the examination themselves and perceive the fabric. That video function gave Caltech assurances in regards to the integrity of the choice path.
Underneath the brand new course of, college students would take a calculus, physics or chemistry class provided by Khan Academy and use the Schoolhouse platform to certify their mastery of the content material as tutors do with a 90% rating or higher on the examination and a videotaped clarification of their reasoning. Proof of certification is required inside one week of the appliance deadline, which is in November for early motion and January for normal selections. Pallie and Leadbetter additionally needed to check whether or not the Khan Academy programs are sufficiently rigorous. A number of Caltech undergraduates took the programs to evaluate whether or not all ideas had been lined in sufficient breadth and depth to cross the campus placement exams in these topics. Miranda, a rising Caltech junior learning mechanical engineering, took the calculus course and gave it a thumbs-up, though she added that college students would most likely need to use extra textbooks and different examine supplies to deepen their preparation for Caltech.