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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

Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 7.22.41 AMFederal Policy Updates

  • On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law, reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and replacing No Child Left Behind. iNACOL released a statement applauding the President and United States Congress for their historic, bipartisan effort to improve federal education law for all students. iNACOL is hosting a webinar to discuss the implications of this law for competency-based, blended and online learning on Wednesday, December 16, from 3:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. ET. Register here.
  • The U.S. Department of Education expanded its competency-based education experiment to include more flexibility for colleges and students. Due to feedback they’ve received from the field, the Department modified the experiment to provide more flexibility for subscription delivery models, providing more opportunities for both the field and students.
  • This PowerPoint, Competency-Based and Direct Assessment Programs from the U.S. Department of Education, outlines the implications of competency education for financial aid professionals.

Expansion and Success in Competency-Based Higher Ed

  • The Texas Tech University College of Education received a $7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create a national center to reform teacher preparation programs in the southern United States. The center will be called the U.S.PREP National Center and will include competency-based teacher education reform.
  • Southern New Hampshire University’s College for America released an early snapshot of competency-based learning data in critical thinking, reading, writing and mathematics. Paul Fain analyzes this data and what this means for competency education and higher education.
  • Competency-based online programs are expanding course offerings to meet the needs of people in more career fields, such as: diagnostic imaging, health education, strategic communication, nonprofit management, mechatronics, engineering and more.

Other News

  • Rasmussen College, an early CBE adopter, outlines four critical steps when venturing on the path towards competency education, including identifying the best programs for CBE, building assessment frameworks, determining the right pace and price, and choosing the right technology and service provider.
  • An article by Andrew Barbour examines how IHE are braving the technical challenges that arise when trying to accommodate CBE’s unique demands within their complex institutional structures.
  • The University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors is considering the expansion of online competency-based programs. This article analyzes this potential expansion.

What other news and events are happening in competency-based higher education that we missed? Let us know in the comments section, or tweet us questions here: @CompetencyWorks.

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