Posts published on May 18, 2015

Rethinking the regulatory environment of college competency-based education

From American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC

Key points

  • Although competency-based education (CBE) has made considerable inroads in higher education, strategies are needed to improve state, accreditor, and federal oversight of CBE programming.
  • In particular, state agencies should strive to accommodate forms of CBE that operate independently of the credit hour, and state policymakers should consider whether alternatives to enrollment-based funding models could facilitate the growth of competency-based programming.
  • Furthermore, an independent advisory board serving all regional and national accreditors should be created to provide clear, detailed, and coordinated recommendations to all levels of government and to oversee the intersection of innovation and regulation.
  • Finally, the US Department of Education should develop a distinct regulatory framework for approving and managing financial aid for CBE programs without reference to credit hour or instructional time concepts.

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