Over the past year, Michael Offerman has collaborated with several foundations to support innovation at public and private non-profit colleges and universities as they work to move beyond seat-time and develop competency-based degree programs. At a recent Washington DC gathering to consider how to address quality for MOOCs, competency-based programs were described as “the coin of the realm for the future of higher education.” Is there something to all the buzz? What, exactly, is all this attention about, and is it justified? Didn’t we try competency-based education back in the 1970’s? What is different now? In this session, Offerman will describe what is happening, why there is so much interest, what the potential short-term and long-term opportunities for competency-based degree programs may be, and what barriers must be overcome in order to realize those opportunities. Several examples will be discussed.
Michael Offerman spent the first twenty years of his higher education career with public universities. He served at the University of Arizona and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point before becoming the Dean of Continuing Education at the University of Wisconsin-Extension. There he created the University of Wisconsin Learning Innovations Center, which develops, delivers, and supports online degree programs for all fifteen University of Wisconsin institutions. In 2001, Mike moved to Capella University, a for-profit online university with over 80% of its enrollment at the graduate level. During his presidency, Capella developed its award winning learning outcomes assessment model. Then from 2008 until September 2011, he served as Capella’s Chancellor. In that role he worked on external university initiatives, including government affairs, regulatory affairs, and public relations. He also led a national consumer information and accountability effort, known as Transparency by Design, for colleges and universities serving adult students at a distance. He currently consults on the use of academic metrics and competency-based learning. Mike earned an Ed.D. in Educational Policy Studies from Northern Illinois University.
Video services provided by California State University, Fullerton, OASIS/UEE Distance Education