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Southern New Hampshire President to Advise Education Dept. on Competency-Based Learning

Paul LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University, will take a three-month leave of absence to join the Department of Education as a senior adviser to the under secretary of education, Ted Mitchell.

Mr. LeBlanc will be involved with the department’s innovation agenda, specifically its experiments with competency-based education and with establishing new accreditation methods for innovative programs.

Southern New Hampshire University has been at the forefront of competency-based education with its College for America program, which was the first competency-based degree program approved by the department to award student aid based on the direct assessment of student learning.

“I hope to help the department, and all of us, answer the many questions we still have about competency-based education,” Mr. LeBlanc said in a news release.

Mr. LeBlanc’s leave of absence will begin on March 9, and he will work with the department through the end of May, after which he plans to return to Southern New Hampshire. Though Mr. LeBlanc will be based in Washington while he assists the department, he will remain involved in high-level decision making at the university.

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