The game-changing free online college learning website, edX, is continuing to break down barriers preventing higher education being available to all. Yesterday edX announced that they are joining forces with computer-based testing company, Pearson VUE, to offer edX learners the opportunity to take proctored final exams after they are done with their free online college courses, earning them even more credibility with current or prospective employees.

EdX is a joint initiative between prestigious universities MIT and Harvard, with participation by University of California at Berkeley, that offers free online college courses to all who want to participate. All courses are 100% free, and anyone with access to a computer and an Internet connection is welcome to participate. The goal of edX is to offer education to all who want it, no matter what their background or financial status. The course material is delivered via streaming online video, and is taught by professors from each of the participating educational institutions. There are no actual college credits offered, but students will be able to obtain completion certificates from edX.

Pearson VUE is a big name in computer-based testing, and offers proctored testing centers at over 450 locations in over 110 countries. Should an edX student visit a Pearson VUE testing center, a proctor will verify the identity of the test-taker, and then administer the test. There is a small fee for the proctoring service, but edX president Anant Agarwal thinks the modest sum is well worth it, saying, “Our online learners who want the flexibility to provide potential employers with an independently validated certificate may now choose to take the course exam at a proctored test site. This option enhances the value of our courses in the real world, helps us maintain our goal of making high-quality education both accessible and practical and thus is a natural evolution of ed’s core philosophy of transforming lives through education.”

President and CEO of Pearson VUE, Robert Whelan, echoed Agarwal’s sentiment, saying, “We are thrilled to collaborate with edX and help its learners improve their employability and career prospects. Pearson VUE is also pleased to help edX protect the integrity of their courses by providing the option of proctored exams.” There is no doubt that this is yet another exciting break-thru in the world of free online college educations. For more information, check out the edX website.