- Higher education has long been consumed with access rather than outcomes, but developing metrics for monitoring competency-based programs could provide an opportunity to change that.
- If nontraditional programs are going to get federal education dollars to operate, Michael B. Horn, the co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute and executive director of its education program, advises awarding dollars based on student outcomes.
- He also suggests in an op-ed for CompetencyWorks and reposted by eCampus News that policy makers move away from all-or-nothing access to such funding so programs are incentivized to do better rather than meet bare minimums.
The reauthorization of the Higher Education Act is giving policymakers an opportunity to rethink funding limitations for Title IV dollars. These conversations also come at the start of a presidential primary campaign that is seeing candidates urge reform of higher education and a range of other sectors. Republicans, especially, are interested in expanding funding for innovative programs to get more students overall into higher education opportunities and increase competition across the industry. Democrats, too, have latched onto the idea of increasing access in this way. Funding such programs with federal dollars would take away a major barrier to their growth so far.