Two Democratic U.S. senators are giving a boost to the growing interest from members of both parties in Congress to make it easier for alternative models of higher education — such as competency-based education — to gain access to federal funding.
Sens. Christopher Murphy of Connecticut and Brian Schatz of Hawaii said Thursday that they planned to introduce legislation next month that would create a competitive pilot program to fund innovations in higher education that would bring down costs and reduce the time needed to complete a degree.
“We’re at the very early stages of the competency-based learning ecosystem,” Murphy told reporters Thursday. “But the federal government should be a bigger partner in helping to develop these new innovative ecosystems around shorter-timeframe degree programs.”
He said the fund would be aimed at innovations in online courses, competency-based degrees, dual-enrollment programs and accelerated degrees.