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Part of Western Governors University

November 28, 2018

Online University Experience

Competency-based education finds its heyday.

Part 2: The future of work.

We will be continuing along our blog series about the changes in workforce, and therefore, the changes in education. WGU Nevada is delving into how competency-based education will drastically alter our workforce landscape. Follow the link to read our first blog in the series, How Does Education Change to Fit the New Workforce?

Woman at a laptop in a meeting

Let’s first begin by asking, what is competency-based education? According to Huffington Post, the emphasis on this form of education is on knowledge, not time. This allows for students to prove their competencies in certain subjects without having to go through what they already know. 

Competency-based education is a core pillar of WGU Nevada’s mission within the state. In order to help adults achieve their education dreams, which in turn, help those same adults achieve their occupation dreams, length of time is important. In fact, with WGU Nevada each degree program is developed by a council of experts in the field who define “competencies” students need to possess to graduate. These competencies form the curriculum. This combination of expertise in both industry knowledge and academics guarantees your degree will be relevant in your chosen field.

Clark Davis is a new WGU Nevada student who is pursuing his Business Management degree. Before this, Clark was no stranger to business. In fact, he owned and operated an American Family Insurance for five years before joining American Family Insurance corporate for the past two years as an Operations and Procedures Specialist. In this role, he consults the many agents in the state of Nevada.

“I have to give full credit to that cute owl,” said Clark. “I saw the commercials and finally enrolled for my college degree. When I owned my own American Family Insurance I never thought about getting a business degree, but when I moved to corporate there was now an opportunity to advance. Adding a degree became a valuable asset.”

Clark has since referred three people to WGU Nevada because he sees this as an ideal way to get an education as a working adult. He started March 1, 2018 and was able to take the finals for some classes before having the class.

“The competency-based model really sealed the deal for me, and the counselor is a major asset to help you get where you need to go,” said Clark. “I have been in the business world for many years and I have a strong handle on math, so I was able to use all those skills to move faster by testing the knowledge I already knew. I do not need to put effort into what I know and can instead dedicate my education to what I need to know.”

Especially for working adults, the ability to show proficiency in a subject allows for a faster graduation. Students at WGU Nevada and other institutions that rely on competency-based models, can enter the workforce much quicker. With the changing landscape of our future, we need to prepare adults for the jobs that will be needed.

“Competency-based learning represents a new form, a new design, in delivering education,” said Chancellor Spencer Stewart of WGU Nevada. “This structure empowers students like Clark to meet the needs of Nevada and use their skills in a meaningful way.”

Stay tuned for future blog posts about this topic, as WGU Nevada delves into the changes affecting our workforce and how education is the answer for a smooth transition.

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