College for America at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers competency-based degree programs that are aligned with workforce needs and allow students to demonstrate mastery of dynamic competencies through an authentic assessment model. For example, a graduate of the Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Management program cites her competency-based education at College for America for her success in the workplace. After graduation, this student worked as a hospital medical assistant. In this capacity, she decided to proactively create a protocol for the hospital in order to better contain the Ebola virus at their facilities. Because of her initiative, this student was appointed as the head trainer for Ebola preparedness. She says that the competency-based education she received taught her the skills and behaviors she exercised in this moment, including leadership and initiative.[1]

Competency sets at College for America are designed with academically qualified subject matter experts who have substantial workforce experience. They are informed by the Lumina Foundation’s Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP), Association of American Colleges & Universities’ Liberal Education and America’s Promise (AAC&U’s LEAP) and based on workforce research and feedback from employer partners. The use of established frameworks and scholar-practitioner expertise to define the competency sets allows us to create uniquely rigorous and relevant degree programs that meet the needs of our student population and employer partners.