December 30, 2013
2013 was an important year for Capella and competency-based education.
In March, the U.S. Department of Education invited higher education institutions to submit programs for consideration under Title IV federal financial aid that did not rely on seat time. The concept of “competency-based education” that uses direct assessment is not a brand-new idea, but it has always been constrained from full implementation by multiple federal rules. One of the most notable rules was the fact that in order to qualify for federal financial aid, online courses had to last for a full term and follow a set curriculum.
In August, this all changed. The Department of Education approved Capella’s FlexPath direct-assessment program and waived these rules. Capella is one of the first universities to get this approval and launch a competency-based program that utilizes direct assessment. In October, Capella officially rolled out our FlexPath program for our bachelor’s degree in business and MBA programs. With FlexPath, students work at their own pace to complete a series of assessments in each course. A key advantage of this approach is that it allows the student to move quickly through subjects in which they are already proficient.
Here are a couple examples of coverage on FlexPath and competency based education.
- Star Tribune: Where’s the teacher? Online college debuts self-paced courses
- The New York Times: Are you competent? Prove it.
2013 was also an exciting year for Capella’s social media presence. Our Facebook page reached 50,000 likes this month. Capella is grateful for the opportunity to build and connect with our adult learners and those exploring the possibility of continuing their education.
I hope you have a great start to your new year, and I look forward to connecting with you in 2014.