The Great Courses

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Some of the course materials produced by The Teaching Company
Content available through "The Great Courses Plus," a subscription service

The Great Courses (TGC) is a series of college-level audio and video courses produced and distributed by The Teaching Company, an American company based in Chantilly, Virginia.


The company was founded in 1990 by Thomas M. Rollins, former Chief Counsel of the United States Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources.[1][2] Rollins had been inspired by a 10-hour videotaped lecture series he watched while at Harvard Law School, and began recruiting professors and experts to record lectures.[1] Rollins invested all his money in the company, at one point using up all his credit cards, selling almost all his suits from his Washington days, and living in an attic.[1] Because his company was for-profit, Rollins adapted course offerings to please customers; he threw out one course because the professor constantly insulted the viewers during lectures and he asked some other professors to re-record segments that had unsupported political commentary.[1] By 2000 the company was well established, with about $20M in annual revenue.[1] In October 2006, the company was acquired by Brentwood Associates, a private equity investment firm.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e Heather Mac Donald (2011-06-21). "Great Courses, Great Profits". City Journal (New York). 
  2. ^ Bales, Kate (February 16, 1994). "Ivy League Courses for Price of a Video". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  3. ^ Sarah Max (2013-07-29). "If Its Customers Love a Business, This Equity Firm Does, Too". The New York Times. 

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