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Brandman U Launches New Online Learning Platform With No Textbooks Required

Through a new app called MyPath, students at Brandman University can earn a bachelor's degree at their own pace without purchasing a single textbook. The private, nonprofit institution within the Chapman University System primarily serves working adults at 25 campuses throughout California and Washington, as well as online.

Brandman partnered with Flat World Knowledge to create MyPath, which incorporates adaptive learning, game-based learning, data analytics and social learning in a competency-based education model. Course content is available any time, anywhere using an iPad or laptop computer; all materials are embedded into the MyPath platform, with no textbooks required. Students work at their own pace, applying previous learning and work experience toward earning their degree. The program currently offers a bachelor's in business administration with four choices of concentration: Information Systems Management, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Management and Organizational Leadership, or Marketing.

As students progress toward a degree, they are awarded digital badges for competencies they have mastered. Issued through Credly, the badges can be displayed on LinkedIn and other social networks, online resumes and portfolios, and shared with potential employers. There are about 60 competencies in each MyPath degree program. Academic coaches guide students on program progress, and full-time faculty members provide help on specific competencies.

For the academic development of MyPath, "faculty and instructional designers incorporated frameworks from the Lumina Foundation's Degree Qualifications Profile and the Liberal Education and America's Promise from the Association of American Colleges & Universities," according to a press release. The university also surveyed more than 100 employers about the skills and knowledge expected from graduates with business degrees. In addition, a year-long beta test gathered student feedback; participants reported that the platform is "engaging and enjoyable to use."

MyPath can be downloaded for free via the Apple app store or through the Brandman Web site. A free Competency Intro Module allows prospective students to try the program with no obligation and also serves as an admissions requirement to the program. Tuition is $5,400 per academic year, with federal and state financial aid available.

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected].

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