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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.”

Visit: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/06/08/barriers-competency-based-education-may-be-lifting-panel-says#ixzz1xJlEYDLX

Read the White Paper: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/06/comp_based_education.html

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