Thursday, May 21, 2015

New Graduates Test the Promise of Competency-Based Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 21st, 2015

After 19 years climbing the career ladder in Fort Worth’s city government, Jolene G. Applegate was stuck.
She had risen as high as acting manager but kept getting passed over for promotions. She knew why. Even though she’d earned 90 credits (at three different colleges), she didn’t have a credential to show for it. Without an associate or bachelor’s degree, she rarely got a second look from hiring managers.
"I couldn’t go as far as I wanted," she said, "because of that piece of paper."
Last year a newspaper article caught Ms. Applegate’s eye. It described a new bachelor’s-degree program at Texas A&M University at Commerce designed for people who’d racked up college credits but no degree. By that time, she had earned 120 credits and an associate degree, but with this program, even while holding down a job and juggling family commitments, she could keep going.

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