‘Competency Map’ Tracks Skills Relevant to Careers

To the Editor:

“States Demand That Colleges Show How Well Their Students Learn” (The Chronicle, October 28) addresses the growing concern within higher education regarding effectively measuring student success and performance. So what are the tools and technologies that can help us accomplish that goal? Capella University has a unique and novel solution to this issue, which is the launch of a first-of-its-kind competency map to all of our students.

Competency maps are a visual dashboard that lets adult students track their demonstration of career-relevant competencies through each of their courses. With the maps, students will have a detailed way to show current and future employers exactly what they mastered in their degree programs as it relates to their professions. When it comes to measuring knowledge and skills, traditional grades provide a limited understanding of a student’s learning. That is why Capella has launched our personalized competency maps.

Building on the competency-based learning concept, Capella recently became the first university to offer bachelor’s- and master’s-degree programs that utilize a U.S. Department of Education-approved direct-assessment learning model, as opposed to the traditional credit-hour. The higher-education system needs to continue to innovate with these types of innovations if we are to continue to provide degrees of relevance to employers that are also affordable to today’s students. Capella is at the front line of this movement.

Scott Kinney
Capella University
Minneapolis, Minn.

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