Saylor Academy

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Saylor Academy
The Saylor Foundation logo
FounderMichael J. Saylor
TypeOperating private foundation
(IRS exemption status): 501(c)(3)
FocusFree education

The Saylor Academy, formerly known as the Saylor Foundation, is a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, DC. It was established in 1999 by its sole trustee, Michael J. Saylor. Since 2008, the focus of the foundation has been its Free Education Initiative which has led to the creation of 241 courses representing 10 of the highest enrollment majors[clarification needed] in the US.[1]

The Saylor Academy's emphasis is assembling courses from openly available texts and resources.[2] The foundation also funds the creation of new materials when needed, which is then openly licensed for use by other organizations and individuals. In March 2018 Edovo partnered with Saylor Academy.[3]


On its website, the foundation offers 317 free, college-level courses, which are selected as typical courses in high enrollment majors at traditional U.S. colleges.[4] Content is accessible without needing to register or log into the website, however an account is required to gain access to final exams, and a free certificate of completion.[1]

The foundation works with consultants to design the courses, typically university and college faculty members or subject experts.[citation needed] The consultant develops a blueprint for the course, then researches open educational resources (OER) to supply the course with lectures, texts, and other resources. If suitable texts and documents are not found, the foundation works with faculty to compile new materials which it releases to the OER community under a Creative Commons license.[5] Each course is accompanied by an assessment.[1]

After OER materials are assembled into the course format, the material is peer-reviewed for accuracy, quality, and comparability to similar courses at a U.S. college.[2] Each peer-review is completed by a group of consultants, usually consisting of two professors and a graduate student.[6]

Individual courses are approved by the American Council of Education (ACE), the leading trade organization of American colleges and universities.[7]

Accreditation and credentialing[edit]

The Saylor Academy is not accredited within any traditional system, but they have been featured[by whom?] as a candidate for launching a system of alternative accreditation through the use of badges.[4] The foundation has stated its intentions to tap into the soon to be released Open Badge Infrastructure from the Mozilla Foundation.[citation needed] This project by the Mozilla Foundation, in tandem with the HASTAC organization, will allow website operators to issue and display badges within a single inter-operable and open source system.[8]

Through cooperation with other organizations, the Saylor Academy can offer degrees, that are nevertheless low cost.[7][9]


  1. ^ a b c Thibault, Joseph. "241 OER Courses with Assessments in Moodle: How has created one of the largest Free and Open Course Initiatives on the web". Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  2. ^ a b CCAP (2011-09-14). "Saylor as Savior?". Forbes. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
  3. ^ "Edovo, a tablet-based solution, brings eLearning to prisons". eLearningInside News. 2018-03-01. Retrieved 2018-05-16.
  4. ^ a b "Online course start-ups offer virtually free college". The Washington Post. 2012-12-21. Retrieved 2012-12-25.
  5. ^ "Saylor Foundation to Launch Multi-Million Dollar Open Textbook Challenge! | College Open Textbooks Blog". 2011-08-09. Archived from the original on 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
  6. ^ "PR information" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-10-26. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
  7. ^ a b CCAP. "Saylor Academy Sidesteps the Evil Duo". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  8. ^ Mozilla Open Badges Project
  9. ^ University, Catholic. "Saylor Academy". The Catholic University of America. Retrieved 2019-07-23.

External links[edit]