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A Thousand Free Online Courses Now Available for Students

Whose Studies Have Been Interrupted by Hurricane Katrina

Leading consortium of universities posts course catalog at

Registration set to begin September 19, 2005

(Atlanta, GA)  The Sloan Consortium, an international association of colleges and universities committed to quality online education, is offering students whose studies have been interrupted by Hurricane Katrina an opportunity to continue their education tuition-free.

More than 1,000 students have already requested courses by signing up at  “Most of the students are from institutions based in New Orleans who are hoping to bridge from this difficult time and to return to their home institutions,” said Dave Spence, President of the Southern Regional Education Board. “We are also accepting students who are in the National Guard and will miss their regular fall term as a result of being called to active duty in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.”

In collaboration with the Southern Regional Education Board and with a $1.1 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the special 8-week accelerated semester provides a wide range of courses to serve the learning needs of students at the community college, university and graduate level, regardless of academic discipline. 

“There are now more than 1,000 courses available for students to choose from,” said Frank Mayadas, Program Director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.  “There are more than 200 institutions, from marquee name universities to community colleges who are waiving tuition and fees.”  All courses carry degree credit from regionally accredited colleges and universities. 

Mayadas says that support is also being offered to institutions who are not directly impacted by the hurricane, but that are struggling to meet the needs of students who have relocated to their campuses.  “If a student can’t get a full load or if their host doesn’t offer a specific course, Sloan Semester is a great resource.”

Student registration will begin on September 19, 2005 and classes are set to begin October 10, 2005.

The Southern Regional Education Board ( headquartered in Atlanta, was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government work cooperatively to advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region. The SREB has 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Each state is represented by its governor and four gubernatorial appointees.

The Sloan Consortium ( is the nation’s largest association of institutions and organizations committed to quality online education and administered through Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and Babson College.  Its mission is to help learning organizations continually improve quality, scale, and breadth according to their own distinctive missions, so that education will become a part of everyday life, accessible and affordable for anyone, anywhere, at any time, in a wide variety of disciplines.