I think one of the issues with free online classes is the inability to measure the outcomes. If a provider of free courses is going to require some sort of assessment such as papers or exams, then they are going to want to paid for their work. In the absence of any proof that the student actually learned the material, it is hard for another institution to grand credit for the work. However, some colleges will allow you to take a test to see if you could get credit for a course that they teach with similar content. I have used free courses for my own professional development and it does seem to help me within my job and even as part of a curriculum vitae. I think there is a role for free online classes but that role is not going to lead to a degree or certification in the absence of some sort of credible assessment.
Where I live, in Maryland, they take charges of rape seriously until they do enough investigation to either go forward with a charge or not go forward with a charge. I'm a counselor and have been tangentially involved in a lot of these cases.
I teach at a community college (and was an adjunct at three others before getting a full-time position) and there is so much grade inflation and "pass them anyway" that at least a few schools are starting to react to what is becoming perceived as a completely worthless degree. Also, you used to be able to get a position as a professor at a community college with a Masters degree but those, too, have gotten a bit easy so now you need either two Masters or a doctorate to compete for those jobs. Schools can devise new ways to make courses easier or simply pass anyone who pays the tuition but they they can't act surprised when their degrees come to be viewed as not quite worth the paper on which they are printed.
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