CHICAGO (CBS) — These days, you can go to Groupon for deals on dining, spas and even a higher education. For the first time, the site is teaming up with an academic institution.
CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman went to National Louis University to find out why they’re offering a sale on an introductory graduate level teaching course.
It’s appearing right now on Groupon. Here’s the deal: if you think you might want to change professions and pursue a masters in teaching, you can try out three credit hours at Mational Louis University for $950, nearly 60 percent off the normal price of $2,232.
“This is a way for potential students to say ‘Let me find out if this is really a profession that I want to pursue,” NLU President Nivine Megahed said. “The offer is to help people explore a profession.”
Julie Mossler, Groupon’s director of communications, said, “This is definitely a first deal of its kind on Groupon.”
“We’re excited to see where it could go and other great deals that we could provide customers,” she added.
So, apparently, are other academic institutions. More than a few have called National Louis about the idea to welcome potential students to test drive a program that normally runs $20,000 to $35,000.
“Why make a really big commitment to pursue a brand new profession before sort of getting a flavor of … whether you have a passion for it,” Megahed said. “Because it’s a profession that really does require the passion to be good at it.”
Megahed said that, not unlike other universities, enrollment is down a little at NLU.
That’s not the primary motivation for the Groupon offer, but Megahed said, “You do wanna remain competitive and you wanna try different things.”
“I would say that our vice president of marketing is brilliant,” Megahed added.
The project is Joselyn Zivin’s brainchild.
“For better or worse, yes it is. We’ll see how it ends up,” she said.
NLU student Chiara Bell said, “I actually think that’s a pretty great idea. … To at least sample something and it still counts, you know, I think anyy type of help towards that, it’s great.”
The class offered at a discount on Groupon still counts toward a graduate degree, if that’s what the student qualifies for and chooses after the intro course is over.
One blogger said that, in an age of mounting student debt, trying a graduate degree on for size is a good thing. So far, five people have signed up. The offer expires Friday.