- Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and former president of Teachers College at Columbia University, argues that the rise in competency-based education reflects the transition out of an industrial economy.
- He writes for The Chronicle of Higher Education that, in a digital, information economy, the focus is on outcomes rather than processes, paving the way for education to move beyond standardized degree programs.
- Levine expects every institution will have to make this shift eventually, whether they choose to or not, and the time to plan is now.
The U.S. Department of Education and accrediting agencies are investigating how best to support and evaluate competency-based programs, which let students move at their own pace through coursework and effectively get credit for knowledge they bring to each class. Accreditation agencies took the lead of the department in clamping down on the approval process but after criticism that they’re stifling innovation, both entities have recently come into line. The council released an assessment framework in June, followed by a letter from the department indicating a fairly united front moving forward.