A cheaper alternative thanks to competency-based education?

WGU’s tuition rate, licensing policy and ability to employ its graduates may be a model for the future

WGU-competency-modelWestern Governors University (WGU) may hold a unique approach suited for future developments of higher-ed institution competency-based programs: A sustainable, flat tuition rate, and the ability to find employment for 89 percent of its graduates.

As a nonprofit university that offers a flat tuition rate rather than the typical course or per credit cost, WGU says it keeps tuition manageable specifically for those students who wish to return to school to obtain a degree to enhance their careers.

But how, when so many other colleges and universities are struggling to keep their tuition rates low at the same time that technology and student service demands increase, does WGU succeed in its flat tuition rate that hasn’t risen since 2008?

According to the University, it’s all in the licensing…and knowing what many of today’s job-seeking students need from higher education.

Instead of creating more curriculum , the online University licenses third-party learning resources to help students master competencies and pass assessments, allowing for a scalable model, explained David Leasure, Ph. D., provost of WGU.

Of course, knowing how to boost student enrollment year-to-year also helps.

(Next page: Utilizing CBE and structuring for measurable results)

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