Colleges will offer courses to ACE for potential accreditation and Tech is studying this option, said Richard DeMillo, director of the institute’s Center for 21st Century Universities.

That credit review — combined with the type of courses Georgia Tech and others will develop through the Gates Foundation — unites the MOOC movement with the state and national completion agenda, a push to have more adults earn some type of certificate or degree beyond a high school diploma.

“These Gates Foundation awards address one of higher education’s most pressing problems: bending the cost curve and improving learning outcomes for introductory courses,” DeMillo said. “If we are successful, courses like these will be a shift in both quality and cost for the vast majority of American college students.”