WASHINGTON – If higher education has a group of quintessential insiders, it’s probably the American Council on Education. Yet from a perch atop the higher education lobby’s headquarters here, the membership association of 1,800 college presidents is backing high-profile “disruptions” to the industry it represents.
The council says it wants more students to earn college credit for learning that occurs outside the college classroom. Some of these credit pathways are trendy and new; others have been around for decades. But interest in prior learning assessment has grown rapidly, particularly during the last six months, and ACE is riding the wave.
ACE's leaders say they are giving a boost to alternative credit pathways because of the college “completion agenda,” work force development and money worries that are buffeting colleges.
“We are experiencing a confluence of forces of change," Molly Broad, the council’s president, recently told the University of Wisconsin System’s Board of Regents. "All of this coming together is persuasive that business as usual is not in the future cards and we must innovate."
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