Company that wants to be an “online Harvard” to get accreditation

a concept/ball that keeps rolling and rolling and rolling

Gigaom

Minerva Project, a startup aspiring to build an online Ivy League-caliber university from scratch, just checked a major item off its to-do list. On Wednesday, the company plans to announce a partnership with the Claremont, Calif.-based Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) that will enable it to operate as an accredited educational institution.

For a company that wants to be seen as an alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar schools – not just a complement like MOOC providers Coursera and Udacity – that’s a big deal. Without it, graduates would have difficulty getting into law schools and medical schools or impressing potential employers.

Ben Nelson, the founder and CEO of the San Francisco-based startup, said other options included buying an accredited institution or launching without accreditation and then applying for it later on (which means early classes would graduate without the all-important seal of approval).

But he said the partnership with KGI, which…

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Primarily interested in interacting and engaging with people about issues related to profession but also charity, environment, ... you get the idea.

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