WGU serves 50,000 students in 50 states with Teacher's Licensure, Education, Business, Information Technology and Health Professions programs offering both bachelor's and master's degrees, all online and competency-based. Tuition is a flat rate, about $3000 for 6 months, regardless of the number of courses - "the faster you demonstrate what you know, the faster you finish". Appropriate college credits may be transferred in, and education and experience may contribute to faster completion of the assessments. The BS in Business Management is comprised of 31 classes and a capstone project, divided into 121 competency units with 2-8 units per course: 4 for college algebra, 3 for macroeconomics, 7 for strategy, change and organizational behavior. Assessments are Pass/NotPass, with Pass equivalent to a B or better. from Western Governor's University website
College for America offers Associate of Arts degrees in General Studies and Bachelor's of Arts in Communications and Healthcare Management, competency-based, online, and built on project-based learning. Students enroll through their employers - programs are in place at large employers including ConAgra, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield and McDonalds, as well as at other companies and nonprofits throughout the U.S. Tuition is a flat rate, about $2500 per year, regardless of the number of competencies. Students demonstrate and develop competencies by completing real world projects: 20 projects in an Associates degree, 40 in a Bachelor's. The Associate of Arts degree is comprised of 120 competencies in 9 key areas: Communication Skills, Critical and Creative thinking, Digital Fluency and Information Literacy, Quantitative Skills, Personal Effectiveness, Ethics and Social Responsibility, Teamwork and Collaboration, Business Ethics, and Science, Society and Culture. There is no traditional grading scale. Students submit a project until they master all the competencies involved. from College for America website
Adopted by 43 states, the Dictrict of Columbia, 4 territories and the Department of Defense Education Activity, the Common Core academic standards outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade and when they graduate from high school. Maryland is among the states implementing Common Core.
This report examines the work of 10 New England high schools implementing mastery-based teaching and learning.
Library photo courtesy of Barry Halkin Photography