In May 2015, the first graduates of Berklee College of Music’s online bachelor degree program walked across a (real, not virtual) stage at a commencement ceremony in Boston. At the time, the program was one of the first arts education degrees that could be earned entirely online, making music education— considered an unnecessary luxury for many— accessible to a wider audience. But what about other types of arts education?
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Enter Kadenze (pronounced “kah-den-zay”), a for-profit online portal that brings together the best arts education classes, resources and professors into one website. Pulling from universities around the globe, Kadenze offers MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) in coding, visual art, music and art history. These courses may be used by students as credits towards a college degree, or simply as resume-builders. The website partners with 26 schools including Princeton University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Goldsmiths University of London and the Pratt Institute.
Columbia University and Berklee are the latest schools to team up with Kadenze. Co-founder of Kadenze Ajay Kapur notes the important part these two schools have played in the recent growth of online classes, particularly Columbia’s research into online education. In a 2013 study, the Teacher’s College at Columbia found that roughly one-third of all college students were enrolled in online courses, a sizeable increase from 2010 and a number that will continue to grow thanks to websites like Kadenze.
“Having Columbia on board is such an honor because they have really led the way on research behind online education,” Kapur said. “And then Berklee College of Music is just such an honor because, in my mind, they have proven that every university needs to have an online program for the future and have shown what a successful program looks like. The partnership is going to be such a sharing of knowledge between both parties... we’re really excited to grow with both of these new partners.”