Monday, July 14, 2014

College, on Your Own

The Chronicle of Higher Education
July 14th, 2014

Nichele L. Pollock felt like she was moving through college in slow motion. In seven years, she had gotten about halfway through her bachelor’s degree.
But recently she’s been racing forward, racking up 50 credits in just eight months at Northern Arizona University, more than most full-time students earn in three semesters. She’s done it while holding down a full-time job coordinating clinical trials at a medical-research facility in Tucson. She has no classmates, no classroom, no lectures, and no professor-led discussions with fellow students.
And she’s the model for how competency-based learning could transform higher education.
For decades, competency programs have served a niche market of adults seeking credentials to help them advance in their careers. Now, they are attracting broad interest and making forays into the liberal arts. Competency programs are going mainstream.

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