While the MOOCs get the spotlight, the five hundred pound gorilla sits over in the corner, quietly munching bananas, waiting for its moment of fame.
The gorilla’s name is “competency based education. As Carol Geary Schneider points out, there’s no agreement about what that means but it certainly includes giving academic credit for non-academic activities. And once credit is given, students can scoot through degree requirements prontissimo. There are plenty of people and institutions out there willing to call it a college education.
So stay tuned. California is considering a no-faculty college. North Carol;ina Wesleyan has announced its three year undergraduate business degree program, and the big foundation money seems ready to pay for the bananas. “The Lumina Foundation …[is] arranging a meeting next week on competency-based education that will include representatives from 25 colleges that have dabbled in it, several sources said. Also attending will be officials from the U.S. Department of Education, state higher education agencies, and other foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.” (Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/04/17/competency-based-education-heats-new-entrants#ixzz2Qj2BHhLv )