AUSTIN – Today the Texas Public Policy Foundation released the second of two studies examining competency-based education in higher education.

“This May, as college students across the U.S. graduate with large sums of student debt, we should be asking ourselves if there are better, more affordable ways for students to attain their degrees,” said Tom Lindsay, director of the Foundation’s Center for Education Innovation. “We found that competency-based education offers a strategy for students to graduate faster, with less cost and improved results.”

The study found competency-based education programs are more accessible for students from a lower socio-economic background, thereby opening the way for more Texans to pursue degrees.

The study specifically looked at registered nurse and teaching credentials at both an unidentified institution and at Western Governors’ University.

Students graduating from the competency-based program at WGU report making 21 percent more in salary than non-WGU graduates. They also completed their degrees with less debt than those who attended traditional institutions.

Seven of 10 WGU graduates were rated by their supervisors as generally better than comparable teachers and none were rated generally worse than comparable teachers.

Competency-based education programs differ from traditional models in that progress is based on students demonstrating understanding and skills instead of a focus on hours in a classroom.

The report can be found here.

For more information or to request an interview, please contact Alicia Pierce at [email protected] or 512-472-2700.    

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin that aims to foster human flourishing by protecting and promoting liberty, opportunity, and personal responsibility.

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