Some Community Colleges Pioneer Competency-Based Credentials

Community colleges are natural laboratories for experimenting with self-paced programs whose students progress by mastering “competencies” employers value, speakers at a nationally broadcast meeting said on Monday.

“There’s a clear and clarion call for a new currency in higher education, one that ignores grade level and is built around what a student knows,” said Daniel J. Phelan, president of Jackson Community College, in Michigan. He was one of several community-college leaders who described their efforts to find faster, cheaper, and more effective ways to equip students with credentials that will help them land jobs.

He said many employers are skeptical about the validity of college grades and even degrees, in part because of grade inflation. A competency-based approach allows students to build on their experiences through “stackable credentials of market value,” Mr. Phelan said. <Read more.>

Via Katherine Mangan, The Chronicle of Higher Education.