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ERIC Number: ED547416
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 52
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 41
Competency-Based Degree Programs in the U.S.: Postsecondary Credentials for Measurable Student Learning and Performance
Klein-Collins, Rebecca
Council for Adult and Experiential Learning
Today the U.S. higher education system is facing a crisis regarding its perceived quality. One model for improving quality is competency-based education, in which an institution clearly defines the specific competencies expected of its graduates. A key challenge is how to help more people, particularly adults, succeed at the post¬secondary level and earn degrees. This paper examines the current state of competency-based postsecondary education in the U.S., profiling the various types of competency-based, or competency-focused, models that currently exist, the extent to which these programs assess for student competencies or learning outcomes, and the extent to which these programs operate outside of a credit-based system. These programs can help inform other institutions interested in developing a stronger focus on competencies, whether by demonstrating the possibilities of high-quality programs or by facilitating the recognition of learning acquired outside of traditional instruction. Included in the report are 11 appendices: (A-1) University of Maryland University College Computer and Information Science Program Outcomes Guide; (A-2) University of Maryland University College Institutional Level Learning Outcomes: Student Learning Expectations; (A-3) Alverno College Social Science Example of Relationships among Outcomes; (A-4) Brandman University's Degree Qualifications; (A-5) Marylhurst University's Liberal Arts Core Outcomes: (A-6) Westminster College Consumers and Markets Sequence; (A-7) Southern New Hampshire University Year One Modules, Themes, and Integrating Experiences; (A-8) Southern New Hampshire University Year One Competency Reinforcement Plan; (A-9) Western Governors University Domain for Bachelor of Science in Accounting; (A-10) Western Governors University Subdomains and Competencies for Accounting Domain;, and (A-11) DePaul University School for New Learning's Master of Arts in Applied Professional Studies (MAAPS). [See the follow-up report: "2013 CAEL Forum & News: Competency-Based Education" in ERIC at ED547415.]
Council for Adult and Experiential Learning. 55 East Monroe Street Suite 1930, Chicago, IL 60603. Tel: 312-499-2600; Fax: 312-499-2601; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Authoring Institution: Council for Adult and Experiential Learning