May 3, 2013

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SUNY Signals Major Push Toward MOOCs and Other New Educational Models

chronicle.com | By Steve Kolowich

The State University of New York’s Board of Trustees on Tuesday endorsed an ambitious vision for how SUNY might use prior-learning assessment, competency-based programs, and massive open online courses to help students finish their degrees in less time, for less money.

The plan calls for “new and expanded online programs” that “include options for time-shortened degree completion.” In particular, the board proposed a huge expansion the prior-learning assessment programs offered by SUNY’s Empire State College.

The system will also push its top faculty members to build MOOCs designed so that certain students who do well in the courses might be eligible for SUNY credit.

Ultimately, the system wants to add 100,000 enrollments within three years, according to a news release.

Even before the SUNY announcement, it had already been a big week for nontraditional models for awarding college credit. The U.S. Education Department on Monday said it had no problem with spending federal student aid on college programs that give credit based on “competency,” not the number of hours students spend in class. Read More...

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