Global Freshman Academy Students Enrolling for Credit

In April, edX and ASU partnered to create the Global Freshman Academy, a first-of-its-kind program offering college credit for online courses.

Now that the first GFA course has concluded, we’ve begun to hear stories from students around the world who are taking advantage of the opportunity to earn college credit with online courses. We reached out to Miguel, the very first student to opt-in to receive college credit for completing the course, who was happy to share his experience.

Miguel 2Miguel Joao Coelho da Rocha Ribeiro

Portugal  |  Age 40

I’m very excited to have completed my first edX course, AST111x: Solar Systems Astronomy. And yes, I have registered for credit!

In 1994, I entered Universidade do Minho in Braga, Portugal, but unfortunately was not able complete my degree. Since then, my career has progressed through several industries, including culinary arts and fitness training.

Now that I am 40 I find myself, 21 years later, drawn to an immense opportunity: a second chance at continuing my education. I am truly excited, as an adult learner, to be a freshman through edX!

The first Global Freshman Academy (GFA) course, Solar Systems Astronomy, was amazing. I got a lot out of the course, learned a great deal and was continually motivated by the enthusiasm of my fellow students and the teaching team. Beyond the material covered, I also noted the active presence of the course Professor and TAs on the forums and Google hangouts. Any time I had difficulties I received support and successful resolution.

I plan to use the course credit I earned toward completing my full freshman year. I’m already enrolled for Human Origins and Western Civilization: Ancient and Medieval Europe – as I understand it, the GFA will offer 13 courses, so when I complete the program I will have earned between 24-30 credits.

By partnering to launch the GFA, edX and Arizona State University have created a space for someone such as myself to be able to continue to learn, interact, and carry on a lifelong journey of education. EdX, ASU, and the GFA have broken barriers; this is truly a remarkable advancement in world education.

To anyone who is hesitant to attempt the GFA, I say: Give yourself a better future.

Have you completed an edX course? Share your story by emailing