After partnering with its first community colleges last month, open-source technology platform edX has announced a liberal arts school will be joining the mix. Wellesley has become edX’s first liberal arts college and the first women’s college to offer massive open online courses.

“Being the first liberal arts college to join edX is a huge opportunity for Wellesley College,” said Wellesley Provost Andy Shennan in a reaction video. “Our entire mission is around the importance of bringing education to underserved populations. That was our founding mission—to educate women who, otherwise, would not have had opportunities to receive higher education.”

Wellesley will start by offering four courses through edX in the fall of 2013 under the “WellesleyX” umbrella.

Wellesley President Kim Bottomly admits in a separate video that edX does have the ability to change the world, as online education continues to “energize faculty members and students to think about how best to either deliver information or think about their own learning in a different way.” In a statement to the Wellesley community, Bottomly said she was “pleased that Wellesley will bring a much-needed liberal arts perspective to the rapidly developing online learning environment.”

edX President Anant Agarwal points to Wellesley’s “long history of educating women leaders in diplomacy, the arts, science and business.” That history will provide a unique strength to the program, as they continue to partner with more colleges moving forward.

Since launching in May, the MIT- and Harvard-born platform has already attracted the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Texas System, along with the state’s Bunker Hill and MassBay Community Colleges.


Photo Courtesy of Wellesley