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The Great Courses (TGC) is a series of college-level audio and video courses produced and distributed by The Teaching Company (TTC), a Chantilly, Virginia company, via mobile and tablet apps, CD, DVD, or MP3 and MPEG-4 download formats, and streaming media.
The company was founded in 1990 by Thomas M. Rollins, former Chief Counsel of the United States Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources. Rollins had been inspired by a 10-hour videotaped lecture series he watched while at Harvard Law School, and began recruiting top professors and experts based almost entirely on customer feedback. As of 2013, the company offers over 480 courses ranging in length from six lectures to over ninety lectures in several subject categories: business, economics, fine arts, music, ancient and medieval history, modern history, literature and English language, philosophy and intellectual history, religion, science, mathematics, social sciences, professional development and better living.
Course offerings are targeted to adult lifelong learners; there is also a series for high school students. Courses are not verbatim recordings of college lectures, but rather are developed by The Teaching Company in conjunction with the professor to fit the chosen medium. Video versions of courses include graphics and green screen effects. Courses also include supplemental booklets with outlines of the individual lectures, recommended reading lists, general bibliographies, and questions to consider. Full printed transcripts are also available.
In 2012, the company produced the first of several cooking courses in partnership with The Culinary Institute of America, and announced an expansion of that partnership in 2013. In 2014, the company announced the expansion of a partnership with The National Geographic Society to jointly produce courses on photography and expedition travel.
Courses are available for online video and audio streaming or may be purchased in many formats including CD, DVD, audio and video downloads, and verbatim transcript books. The company also offers more than 350 audio versions of The Great Courses to Audible.com subscribers.
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