The Shift Toward Competency Starts With Faculty

By Richard Senese, EdSurge

The demographics of higher education are changing: Today’s degree seekers are older and more diverse than at any other point in our history. Many more work while attending college. With only 59 percent completion rates among four-year colleges, we will not achieve our shared college completion goals by promoting access or improving the odds for traditional learners alone. A major driver of this demographic shift has been the evolution of competency-based learning, which provides nontraditional students with newfound flexibility—and potential for reduced cost and time-to-completion. In fact, when we look back on higher-ed reform early in the early 21st century, we may see the dawn of competency-based learning as a watershed moment that, like the GI Bill, forever alters our perception of the typical college student. This transformation is not, of course, without profound challenges and considerations.

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