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Brandman U To Offer Online, Competency-Based Business Administration Degree

Brandman University, a private nonprofit institution part of the Chapman University System, is working with Flat World Education to offer an online, competency-based bachelor's degree in business administration (BBA).

The school aims to be a leader in adult learning, providing a lower-cost, high-quality degree offering to adults who already have real-world experience but lack a degree, according to Gary Brahm, Brandman's chancellor.

"Higher education enrollments have declined in the past year due to higher education costs," noted Charles Bullock, provost at Brandman, in a prepared statement. "Fifty-four percent of Americans are underemployed and employers are telling us that the skills gap is widening. We view competency-based education as a way to address these issues."

"A competency-based education degree will allow students to benefit from what they have already mastered," said Brahm in a press release. "Students will take an assessment and then adaptive software will modify the content so that students will be taught only what they don't know. This will allow a student to progress at his or her own pace and there is no need to sit in a classroom lecture setting. A competency-based degree can be earned on average in 30 months and for a price that is half of what most state universities charge," he continued. "This allows us to address the negative trends in higher education such as cost and time spent in the classroom, and employers will now have better equipped employees."

Flat World Education will provide the educational platform and digital content for the degree program. "There are a number of catalysts making this movement toward personalized learning, at scale, possible," said James Rianhard, president of Flat World, in a prepared statement. "We have an entrepreneurial regulatory awakening — the U.S. Department of Education actively seeking new models and encouraging experimental sites.... In response, many of our high-performing institutions of higher education are submitting truly groundbreaking competency-driven approaches. These models will combine a powerful mix of faculty-mentored learning with algorithmic learning and analytics — adaptive learning."

Brandman University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and serves 12,000 students annually with programs available online and at more than 25 campuses throughout California and Washington.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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