Saving Higher Education: The Integrated, Competency-Based Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program

Article excerpt

Saving Higher Education: The Integrated, Competency-Based Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program By Martin J. Bradley, Robert H. Seidman and Steven R. Painchaud. 2011. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA. 240 pages. $40.00. ISBN: 9780-470-88819-3

Colleges and universities are under pressure from the government, students, and parents to make higher education more efficient and cost-effective. Based on Southern New Hampshire University's highly successful competency-based three-year bachelor's degree program - the longest running in the country - this book provides a blueprint for creating, sustaining, and growing such a program at an institution of any type and size. The book offers a proven model that not only cuts student costs by 25%, but significantly reduces program delivery costs. The 120-credit sixsemester competency-based integrated curriculum approach focuses on student learning as opposed to "seat-time," and research shows above average academic student success.

"At last a book that answers one of higher education's most burning questions: How do we provide America a cheaper, faster undergraduate experience without cheating on the old family recipe and compromising standards? At a time when challenges of college value, quality, and mission are high on the public agenda and an unprecedented number of institutions are exploring three-year degree programs, we are provided a road map that maintains academic integrity by focusing on learning outcomes rather than process inputs. Bravo and about time. …