Series looks at Kadenze, an arts platform bringing students the future of STEAM education

Since its establishment five years ago, this forward-thinking company has brought Santa Clarita Valley students and others across the world the future of STEAM education to the online world.

Kadenze, founded by California Institute of the Arts alumni and current faculty in Valencia, is a social learning platform that offers online courses in art and creative technology.

But part of what makes the company an innovative tool is that it brings together some of the most prestigious educational institutions across the world to offer students well-rounded, quality learning needed to succeed in tomorrow’s workforce.

“Looking back, we started with only a handful of partners,” said Harmony Jiroudek, vice president of partnerships at Kadenze. “Today we have over 40 partners and have brought organizations like the Sydney Opera House and Google.”

Students from more than 50 countries have unlimited access to a catalog of more than 170 curated courses from these recognized partners for free and at affordable prices. Students can learn from classes ranging from “An Introduction to Designing Objects” to “Exploring the Mixed Reality Landscape.”

“Our course selection is very important to us because we want to make sure we have something for everyone at every level,” said Jiroudek. “We achieve that by bringing education partners not only from the Ivy League level, like Stanford and Princeton universities but also art schools that were initially left out of the MOOC space.”

Not only is Kadenze at the forefront as an online, arts-focused platform, but its technology offers students a way to measure performance and progress through its premium feature.

“Think of it like a Netflix account, where you have a personalized account,” Jiroudek said. “The premium account allows you to submit homework assignments, check your grades, build a portfolio and even earn verified certificates. With a premium membership, students can also sign up for credit-eligible courses for an additional price.”

The premium membership is priced at only $20 a month.

“Many students who dream of studying creative arts and technology face crippling financial barriers, or simply don’t have access to educational opportunities,” Dr. Ajay Kapur, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Kadenze said when the platform went live in 2015. “Whether they are trying to prepare for college, return to school, or simply expand their education, I believe that everyone should have access to the highest quality education available.”

As more students continue to sign up, Jiroudek said the goal is to reach out to Santa Clarita Valley high and middle school students.

“Kadenze is a great tool for pre-college students. I had a student who transferred to CalArts and started with enough credits to get an entire semester off,” she said. “The goal is to let more students know this is out there and can lessen the burden with the higher cost of education.”

The city of Santa Clarita’s Business Minute video series, which spotlights local companies, recently featured Kadenze.

To learn more about Kadenze, visit kadenze.com and to learn more about Santa Clarita Business Minute, visit thinksantaclarita.com.

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