US program allows institutions to test competency-based education

July 24, 2014

The US Department of Education will waive some federal aid requirements for some PSE institutions testing competency-based education (CBE) programs. The decision will allow approved institutions to offer aid for CBE programs, prior-learning assessments, and blended direct assessment and credit-hour coursework programs. Proponents of CBE see the move as a major step forward: not only will it allow institutions that have been interested in CBE an opportunity to experiment, but it could pave the way for new or revised legislation that is more accommodating of CBE models. The US House of Representatives will also vote this week on a similar “demonstration project” bill. This initiative will allow up to 20 institutions to offer CBE degrees without conforming to all federal regulations, though it is unlikely to pass in the Senate. The Chronicle of Higher Education | Inside Higher Ed