Archive for June 9, 2012

Colleges Urged to Embrace Entrepreneurial Reforms

From Inside Higher Education

Colleges and universities (and the states that regulate them) need to embrace an entrepreneurial approach to reforms, according to a report issued Thursday by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Among the recommendations:

– States should give higher levels of funding to institutions with better student outcomes.

– Accreditation should “place the fewest possible restrictions on both new and existing providers to encourage innovation.” Further, accreditation “should focus much less on inputs and much more on outcome measures, such as student performance and loan default rates.”

– Online instruction “should be largely deregulated as long as minimum course-level outcomes are specified.”

– Universities “should identify and financially incentivize those professors whose time would be more productively spent in the classroom rather than conducting and publishing scholarly research.”


Read the Report:

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The Next Big Thing, Almost

By Paul Fain

Competency-based higher education’s time may have arrived, but no college has gone all-in with a degree program that qualifies for federal aid and is based on competency rather than time in class.

Colleges blame regulatory barriers for the hold-up. The U.S. Education Department and accreditors point fingers at each other for allegedly stymieing progress. But they also say the door is open for colleges to walk through, and note that traditional academics are often skeptical about competency-based degrees.

All sides of this debate were on display at a Thursday event hosted by the Center for American Progress, which also released a white paper on competency-based education as a potentially disruptive innovation. Panelists noted that even the much-heralded model of Western Governors University maps its competency-based degrees back to credit hours, although university officials typically prefer the term “competency units.”


Read the White Paper:

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