Thursday, July 23, 2015

Caution and Competency - Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

In recent years the U.S. Senate has done plenty of hand-wringing over “bad actors” in higher education, many of them for-profit and online. The U.S. Department of Education is working on an “experimental sites” project that would allow some providers to offer federal financial aid to students by partnering with traditional colleges. The title of Wednesday’s event was “exploring barriers and opportunities within innovation.” During the hearing several senators and the four witnesses said they are optimistic about the potential of competency-based education and noninstitutional boot camps to provide a quality higher education at a lower price than traditional colleges typically charge. The goal is for the feds to craft limited, controlled experiments they can learn from in creating policies. Senators from both sides of the aisle support that approach.

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