Bipartisan House Bill on Competency-Based Ed

U.S. Representatives Luke Messer (R-IN) and Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced legislation last week that would allow for the voluntary implementation of competency-based education demonstration projects at institutions of higher education. The project would grant statutory and regulatory flexibility to participants, such as in the application of federal financial aid rules, while also creating new requirements aimed at accountability and transparency, Inside Higher Ed reported.

The House passed a similar bill in 2014, but the measure stalled in the U.S. Senate.

The Advancing Competency-Based Education Act of 2017 (H.R. 2859) would:

  • require an annual evaluation of each competency-based education program in the project to measure quality, the progress of participating students towards earning a degree, and students' ability to pay off their loans and find employment upon graduation.
  • provide information about the students being served in competency-based education programs and how their success compares to similar students in traditional programs.
  • require participating institutions' accrediting agencies to set standards for competency-based education programs.
  • establish a Competency-Based Education Council to continue studying the ongoing innovation and development of competency-based education.

"Nowadays more and more college students are older, returning for a degree after years in the work force and pursuing their studies while working full-time simultaneously," Polis said in a written statement. "That's why with the input of forward-thinking schools, like Colorado State University Global, this legislation will allow more students to get credit for what they know, rather than how much time they spend in the classroom."


Related Links

H.R. 2859 Advancing Competency-Based Education Act of 2017 Fact Sheet

H.R. 2859 Advancing Competency-Based Education Act of 2017 Section-by-Section

Inside Higher Ed