Competency-Based Transcripts

Career College Central summary:

  • At Northern Arizona University, students who enroll in a new competency-based program will earn a second transcript, which will describe their proficiency in the online bachelor degree’s required concepts. The university will also teach students how to share their “competency report” transcripts with potential employers.
  • The university shared a sample version of a competency report. The document looks nothing like its traditional counterpart, and lacks courses or grades.
  • Northern Arizona’s first crack at a transcript grounded in competencies gives an early glimpse of how credentialing in higher education might be shifting, experts said. And while the competency reports could be improved, some said, the university also deserves credit for attempting to better-define what students do to earn their degrees.
  • “Our employer studies show that employers basically find the transcript useless in evaluating job candidates,” Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, said in an e-mail message. “Higher education definitely needs to start fresh with a redesign of its public descriptions of student accomplishment.”

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