"These are the courses that are high demand. Everybody needs them to move to the next part of their curriculum sequence," said Timothy White, the new chancellor of the 23-campus CSU system.
San Jose State faculty will be the instructors of record for the classes and will evaluate students. No textbooks are required, and students will have access to mentors through chat rooms, a helpline and other means.
In his 2013-2014 budget, Brown has proposed giving California's public colleges and universities more money. But in return, the Democratic governor wants them to hold down costs, stop raising tuition and embrace online learning.
Brown is scheduled to attend the University of California Board of Regents meeting on Wednesday, when university officials plan to discuss plans to expand online learning at the 10-campus system. Leaders of the online education providers Coursera, edX and Udacity are expected to speak at the gathering.