Students who enroll in a new competency-based program at Northern Arizona University will earn a second transcript, which will describe their proficiency in the online bachelor degree’s required concepts. The university will also teach students how to share their “competency report” transcripts with potential employers.
The university shared a sample version of a competency report. The document looks nothing like its traditional counterpart, and lacks courses or grades.
Northern Arizona’s first crack at a transcript grounded in competencies gives an early glimpse of how credentialing in higher education might be shifting, experts said. And while the competency reports could be improved, some said, the university also deserves credit (no pun intended) for attempting to better-define what students do to earn their degrees.
This is a fascinating and promising approach to the call for translating college degrees into career readiness. It requires institutions of higher education defining the competencies required for a bachelor’s degree, which is probably easier for a small, focused online program than for a large university. But it is an intriguing—if buggy—prototype.