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Competency-based education is coming

It might be time to start planing a farewell party for the credit hour. A recent nudge from the federal government moves us closer to competency-based education and direct assessment of learned skills, or at least opens the door for more institutions to try it out.

Reports Paul Fain for Inside Higher Ed:

The support from Washington could lend a major boost to competency-based education, said Amy Laitinen, deputy director for higher education at the New America Foundation and a former department policy adviser.

"It's like a big neon sign saying 'use this,'" said Laitinen, who last year wrote a report that was critical of higher education's purported overreliance on the credit hour.

Federal lawmakers have increasingly clamored for colleges and regulators to experiment with creative delivery forms of higher education that have the potential to be affordable and take less time for students, particularly working adults, to get to graduation. Both President Obama and Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, in January seemed to open the door to competency-based education.
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