Competency-Based Degrees Essay

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Anthony Williams Julia Shattuck EN101 March 6, 2014 Competency-Based Degrees In the “Chronicle of Higher Education Commentary” article “Competency-Based Degrees: Coming Soon to a Campus Near You,” by Joel Shapiro, he argues that competency based degrees are good for students but bad for teachers. Students can get academic credit while taking fewer courses. For the teachers though that means fewer jobs for them because students would no longer need all the extra elective courses. It seems as if he thinks competency based programs will be the future of colleges and help students get to where they are going faster. The author does not support his argument because he does not give any statistical information, just his opinion, and he expresses his opinion in a biased fashion. Joel Shapiro is an associate dean of academic programs at Northwestern’s School of continuing studies. He has mainly focused on evaluating the effectiveness of teacher professional development and distance learning initiatives in k-12 education. He has built and implemented numerous data-driven and statistical models to inform educational improvement and efficiencies in K-12 and higher education contexts. He holds a PhD in policy analysis from the RAND Graduate School and a JD from Northwestern's School of Law. Given his background, any reader would figure that he knows what he is talking about. Even though he has experience does not mean that he can skip out on giving evidence. Shapiro gives no statistical or factual evidence on his article. The whole article is more of him telling the reader statements that he believes in. He does, however, give concerns that teachers should think about. In the article he says, “Traditional educators should be alarmed. If more institutions gravitate toward competency-based models, more and more students will earn degrees from institutions at which they
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