competency-based program

Purdue’s first competency-based program receives final approval

Competency-based education is a key step in the Purdue Moves initiative

Purdue Polytechnic Institute’s competency-based education program has cleared its final hurdle, becoming what university representatives say is the first baccalaureate program of its kind in the nation.

The Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation organization, approved Purdue University’s degree in Transdisciplinary Studies in Technology. It is the first competency-based degree at Purdue.

Competency-based education gives students direct measurable learning objectives. Purdue’s program allows students to develop skills in an individualized program of study based on their interests.

Jeff Evans, interim associate dean for undergraduate programs, said the program emphasizes creation, application and transfer of knowledge through hands-on learning. Overall, learning is the constant through this program, not time.

“We believe that transdisciplinary studies in technology at Purdue Polytechnic is the first program which combines individualized plans of study, close faculty mentoring of students and a competency-based approach for traditional learners at a public research university,” Evans said.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels said competency-based education is a key step in the Purdue Moves initiative, which is designed to broaden the university’s global impact and enhance education opportunities for all students.

“This degree creates a study plan around the student rather than an academic schedule,” Daniels said. “Students take work at their own pace through the program and, in the end, come away with a proven skill set that is meaningful to employers in today’s business world.”

Next page: Details of the Purdue competency-based program

Laura Ascione