Looking Into Competency-Based Education

January 26, 2015

A growing number of colleges are offering competency-based degrees, and the emerging form of higher education has caught the attention of state and federal policy makers. Yet few researchers have taken an in-depth look at the range of competency-based programs. A new paper from the American Enterprise Institute's Center on Higher Education Reform tries to change this. The paper by Robert Kelchen, an assistant professor of education at Seton Hall University, is the first in a series that will seek to "explore the uncharted landscape." Kelchen concludes that competency-based education has the potential to "streamline the path to a college degree for a significant number of students." Yet many questions remain about who is currently enrolled in these programs, he wrote, or how the degree tracks are priced.

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