Ed Dept issues competency-based education guidance
- A letter published Friday by the U.S. Department of Education details regulations on direct assessment and competency-based education programs.
- While the department previously addressed such programs in a March 2013 letter, the document published Friday includes a Q&A format attachment answering a number of questions received since then.
- The Q&A mainly details competency-based or direct assessment programs that award credit hours or an equivalent measure of progress.
Competency-based and direct assessment programs, which don't utilize credit hours and are based on what a student already knows or can demonstrate, have seen an increase in popularity in recent years as institutions and policymakers work to move more college students to graduation. However, few of these programs have been awarded federal aid.
This latest document from the department clarifies requirements for establishing how many credit hours are awarded for completion of these programs, as well as a calendar for such programs and required amount of interaction between student and instructor, among other things. Additionally, it directs attention to a Federal Register issued in July that invites institutions to participate in direct assessment or competency-based experiments, as well as an email address ([email protected]) where additional questions about Title IV requirements can be directed.
- U.S. Department of Education Dear Colleague letter
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