Competency-Based Education

Regent Ed Software Supports Accounting for Competency-Based Programs

An education technology company has confirmed that its financial aid software can work in schools that offer non-typical enrollment models such as non-term and competency-based education. Regent Education said its Regent 8 software will work for institutions that want to experiment with innovative practices, as promoted in the Department of Education's Experimental Sites Initiative.

The initiative encourages colleges and universities to try out new practices aimed at providing faster and more flexible paths to academic and career success, including new approaches to student financial aid. For example, students may be able to earn federal financial aid based on direct assessment — for prior learning assessments or how much they learn rather than how much time they spend in class. Schools may also try mixing direct assessment coursework and credit-hour coursework in the same program.

The challenge for institutions is supporting changes to back-end accounting required in these experiments. According to Regent, its accounting application will support the direct assessment aspects of the initiative.

"These experiments require not only very sophisticated technology to be able to support them in an automated manner, but they also require an extremely in-depth understanding of federal financial aid regulations," said company CTO Denis Khazan. "We have spent a significant amount of time analyzing the technical and operational implications. By leveraging the flexibility of the architectural design and the knowledge of our many subject matter experts, we are excited to announce our ability to support the Direct Assessment Experiment and are well underway in our analysis of supporting the CBE Experiment."

Regent's customers include schools that are running these non-traditional education programs, including Southern New Hampshire University, which runs College for America; Texas A&M University-Commerce, which kicked off that state's first competency-based degree offered by a public university; and Brandman University, part of the Chapman University System in California.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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