Advocates of competency-based learning see it as a potential game changer for higher education. The approach can make college degrees more affordable, and can assure employers that graduates have mastered a defined set of ideas and skills.
When American educators can say, "A degree in X means a graduate has mastered the following things," then it shouldn't matter how a person got a degree or where. That will make it possible for many more people to earn degrees, especially online.
With costs soaring, some colleges offer students a way to graduate early with a three-year college degree. But critics say students lose out on gaining breadth of experience.
A less-expensive education is the appeal at stripped-down satellite campuses.
A call to examine the age-21 threshold has sparked heated debate on campuses.