Middlebury Invests in Online Language Business

April 14, 2010

Middlebury College, long known for its excellence in foreign languages, is forming a partnership with K12, an education company, to offer language instruction online at the pre-college level, The New York Times reported. Middlebury hopes that the new venture will help more high school students learn languages, and will provide the college with more revenue. The Times article did not quote Middlebury faculty members. But Philip G. Altbach, the Monan professor of higher education at Boston College, told the Times: “I have problems with the whole thing, particularly for a place like Middlebury, which has a reputation as one of the best liberal-arts colleges in the country, and for doing a very good job with languages. They should protect that brand. They are not known for online programs, and to jump in to the deep end of the swimming pool, with a for-profit, is in my view dangerous.”

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