John F. Ebersole (at right), until recently president of Excelsior College, died last week, at the age of 72. He had been president since 2006 and used the position to promote the education of nontraditional (typically older) students through online and competency-based education. He also played an active role in encouraging higher education policies that reflected the needs of those students.
He took a leave from the college this year as he was fighting myelodysplastic syndrome. A statement from the college may be found here.
Ebersole wrote several essays for Inside Higher Ed, including this piece about the need for evidence of learning in massive open online courses, and this one calling for a distinction between competency-based education and the idea of mastery.
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