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Aurora Institute

What’s New in Competency-Based Higher Education?

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Natalie Slocum

Issue(s): Issues in Practice, Learn Lessons from the Field

What's New

Advancements in STEM

  • The National Institute for STEM Education (NISE) and Chalk & Wire partnered to provide teachers with a digital portfolio tool to build skills and demonstrate proficiency of competencies to improve STEM teaching skills.
  • Programs are using competency-based apprenticeships to offer hands-on training, giving prospective employees the technical and leadership skills to succeed in STEM careers.

News from the Field

  • The University of West Florida Innovation Institute hosted educational leaders to advance competency-based degree programs and encourage adults to return to college, by making degree programs more meaningful and marketable.
  • Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to participate in a new round of experimental sites focused on expanding college access and affordability through dual enrollment programs. The three-year experiment will—for the first time—allow students taking college-credit courses to access Federal Pell Grants as early as high school. These programs can improve academic outcomes, lower costs, and increase access to colleges and universities, especially for low-income students.
  • College for America at Southern New Hampshire University will offer its Associate of Arts in General Studies—a competency-based education (CBE) degree program—and will partner with high schools to participate in the experiment.

New Research

American Institutes for Research (AIM) released a report titled Making the Case for Competency-Based Education: Early Lessons from the Field—which explores CBE programs in higher education.

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