YouTube, Arizona State University and “Crash Course,” the popular educational YouTube channel founded by vloggers Hank and John Green, announced Tuesday the launch of Study Hall, a pathway to college credit and higher education resources.
Study Hall provides guides on college selection and the admissions process, as well as core courses for which students may receive college credit.
The Green brothers were among the first prominent creators on YouTube and Tumblr. The duo, who launched the VidCon creator convention, have been making educational videos since 2010.
Hank Green said the idea for Study Hall came about after years of searching for solutions to the student loan debt crisis. Student loan debt, which has been rising steadily in the US for more than a decade, hit $1.745 trillion last year.
“College education is a tremendous tool for individuals and society, so I think we should explore every possible tool to understand what gets in the way of student success and reduce or remove those barriers wherever possible” Hank Green said in an email. “It’s easy to know there are problems, but very difficult to interact with, and I’m very proud (and grateful) of the thoughtful and dedicated group of people who are making Study Hall happen.”
Study Hall provides free access to four YouTube courses covering topics typically taken during the early years of college. Courses available are English Composition, College Mathematics, US History, and Human Communication.
Once students are comfortable with the material, they can take the appropriate online classes from the state of Arizona with courses for $25. Once students complete the courses, they can pay $400 for college credit, which can be transferred to any institution that accepts Arizona State credit.
In its announcement, YouTube said Study Hall will expand to include 12 courses by January 2025.
Maria Anguiano, executive vice president of the Arizona State Learning Enterprise, said in an email that the university aims to make education accessible to “as many students as possible.” Study Hall is the latest addition to the university’s suite of low-cost online educational resources.
Katie Kurtz, YouTube’s CEO and global head of learning, said Study Hall was forged to “create pathways to more formal education” and allow users to “claim credit for what they’re learning” on YouTube.
YouTube wants to improve students’ experience on the platform without “breaking the magic” of YouTube’s informal educational content, Kurtz said.
“Crash Course has an incredible talent for telling compelling stories and teaching through ideas that can really bring concepts to life for students,” Kurtz said. “ASU has the rigor of its expertise and pedagogy. And then YouTube has this platform of outreach and engagement. I think the combination of these three entities looks like potentially a new approach to higher education that I hope will inspire a lot of other people.”