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Kaplan University Continues to Innovate, Receives Approval to Begin Offering Competency-based Programs

Jul. 16, 2016

Business Administration and Information Technology Bachelor Degrees Get Green Light from Regional Accreditor

DAVENPORT, IA – (July 20, 2016) – Kaplan University, long recognized as a leader in higher education innovation, today announced that it has received approval from its regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), to begin offering competency-based education for two degree offerings—Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (IT).

These are the first two degree programs structured around a new competency-based model at Kaplan University.

Competency-based education (CBE) transitions away from the traditional class room seat time format towards a more flexible structure that is more self-paced, allowing students to progress as they demonstrate mastery of academic content with the related competencies employers want.  Importantly, CBE enables students to learn and acquire job-focused skills regardless of time or where learning takes place.

“A tremendous amount of thoughtful hard work goes into converting a traditional credit-hour course model into a competency-based one,” said Dr. Betty Vandenbosch, President of Kaplan University. In our unique approach to CBE, which we expect will save our students both time and money while preparing them for fulfilling careers in business and IT, the entire programs are broken down into one-credit competency courses.  Students work on a number of one-credit courses, in sequence, within each term with the help of actively engaged faculty members.  This provides clear direction, an appropriate structure, and additional flexibility for our students.”

“This is another important step forward on our decade long continuing journey with competency-based education, which helps further ensure our graduates and their employers that they are job ready on day one,” said Dr. Tom Boyd, Dean of Kaplan University’s School of Business and Information Technology.

Kaplan University began working on competency-based approaches over a decade ago.

By 2009, Kaplan University had identified specific competencies that students must master in all its general education courses, becoming one of the first universities to do this.

In 2010, the University introduced assessments that measure students’ mastery of course-level assessments and began breaking down courses into modules.

Kaplan University was selected in 2014 to participate in the Department of Education’s Experimental Sites Initiative (ESI) which enabled it to move still further down a competency-based path.

In 2015, Kaplan University became one of the first institutions to start providing its students with personalized competency reports that assess and document a student’s skill and knowledge demonstrated throughout his or her program(s) of study at the University.

About Kaplan University

Kaplan University offers a different school of thought for higher education. It strives to help adult students unlock their talent by providing a practical, student-centered education that prepares them for careers in some of the fastest-growing industries. The University, which has its main campus in Davenport, Iowa, and its headquarters in Chicago, is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Kaplan University serves approximately 40,000 online and campus-based students. The University has 14 campuses in Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, Maryland, Maine, Missouri and Wisconsin, and a Kaplan University Learning Center in Maryland.

Kaplan University is part of Kaplan Higher Education LLC and Kaplan, Inc., which serves over 1.2 million students globally each year through its array of higher education, test preparation, professional education, English-language training, university preparation, and K-12 offerings to individuals, institutions, and businesses. Kaplan has operations in over 30 countries, employs more than 19,000 full- and part-time professionals, and maintains relationships and partnerships with more than 1,000 school districts, colleges, and universities, and over 2,600 corporations and businesses. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC) and its largest division. For more information, please visit http://www.Kaplan.com.

Press contacts:

Kaplan University
Amy Hawkinson
Director, Public Relations
Office: 954-515-3603
Mobile: 773-301-6437
ahawkinson@kaplan.edu

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