A short while ago, I got a notice from Facebook that Prof. Dohohue had mentioned me in one of his comments. While I confess that I rarely log in to Facebook and generally ignore Facebook’s messages trying to get me to, I couldn’t resist this time.
What Bill was pointing out was an NPR program on the rise of competency-based education programs.
The article described the growing trend of universities offering credits for skills developed and demonstrable, even though those skills did not necessarily grow out of an interaction between a student and an instructor in a school setting. The obvious beneficiaries of this trend are older adults who can save time and money if they can earn degree credit for skills gained through work and life experience.
The Chronicle of Higher Education just reported that Pennsylvania’s
community colleges have begun a statewide project to let adult learners earn
college credit for previous training or work experience, a program called "College Credit FastTrack."
Lincoln is participating in a small way with its Bachelor of Human Services/FLEX program. BHS students can earn up to 45 Prior Learning Assessment credits.
So Bill (and others), pretend we're having a Facebook conversation. Here's what I would have asked. Is this a direction Lincoln should consider for other programs? Are there other majors that we offer that would appeal to adult learners if we could award them some percentage of credit for skills earned and thus ease their path toward a degree? What are the worries you see if we move down this path? What are the advantages? How is the BHS working? What similar programs might we add? Should we care where a student learned something or just if a student learned something?
It’s a great topic of discussion and an important issue to explore for strategic planning purposes. I am eager to hear where Lincoln faculty and staff stand.