Converting a student's experience into college credits has proven one of the most complex, oft-discussed issues in higher education

competency-educationCompetency based learning, or CBE, has been pushed by educators and lawmakers who want to increase the number of U.S. degree holders by helping nontraditional students -- working adults and military veterans among them -- turn their professional experience into college credits.

The focus, these CBE advocates argue, should be on a student's understanding of a subject, not their time re-learning what they already know.

With competency-based learning -- which has gained traction over the...

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