March 29, 2016  

What others say about Purdue's new competency-based education

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The announcement of Purdue Polytechnic Institute’s competency-based baccalaureate program - the first of its kind in the nation - is being well received by business, education and public policy representatives and organizations. Here are some of their comments:

“With its new program, Purdue is leading the way and meeting an urgent need. Across the country, manufacturers are looking for workers equipped with the right skills for the modern economy. In the coming years, that need will only grow. To close the skills gap in the United States, we need this kind of forward-looking educational opportunity to prepare students of all ages for real jobs in the real economy.”

Jay Timmons, president and CEO
National Association of Manufacturers


“Competencies are a great way to measure student attainment; beyond credit hours and what they know conceptually, what can they do in practice? Students as active participants in creating their development path, and tuning it as needed, better reflect the reality of the modern business world. The emphasis is on the 21st century skills that are needed to tackle grand challenges of business and society in teams, including much needed focus on leadership, ethical decision-making and dealing with complexity and uncertainty as part of lifelong learning.”

James Spohrer, director
IBM Global University Programs and Cognitive Systems Institute


“By focusing on competencies, Purdue is demonstrating leadership that will benefit employees and employers alike. Business leaders seeking to hire are looking for applicants who have mastered skills and are able to demonstrate that mastery. A competency-based technology program will increase the opportunities for rewarding careers. Most importantly, students and their families will have higher incomes and better lives.”

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler,
president of Business Roundtable


“These types of programs are important because they measure learning and progression based on what students know and are able to do as opposed to the traditional approach that focuses on the amount of time spent in class.”

Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO
Lumina Foundation

Author of “America Needs Talent: Attracting, Educating & Deploying the 21st-Century Workforce.”


“We congratulate Purdue on this exciting new degree program and for continuing to innovate for students.”

Peter McPherson, president
Association of Public and Land-grant Universities


“BPC’s Governors’ Council commends Purdue University for its adoption of competency-based education. Last year, the council made several recommendations aimed at increasing transparency and competition within higher education as a means of decreasing costs and increasing accessibility. Council members believe CBE has the potential to transform higher education and should be adopted by more universities. The council is pleased to see that Purdue, an institution with renowned academic credentials, has taken the initiative to craft a program that allows students to earn credit for their skill development rather than just in-the-class seat time. The university is to be congratulated for leading the way to greater innovation in higher education.”

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue
Bipartisan Policy Center
Governors’ Council


“Purdue University's competency-based education curriculum will send graduates out into the workplace with a set of skills companies most look for - critical thinking. Today’s problems are complex and to solve them takes more than one moving part. It's takes critical thinking, adaptability, and technological know-how. Competency-based education will strengthen our ability to innovate and keep our nation competitive.”

Deborah L. Wince-Smith, president and CEO
Council on Competitiveness


“Under Mitch Daniels’ leadership, Purdue has gone from being known as a terrific engineering school to a national leader in reinventing higher education for the 21st century. Purdue’s new program in Transdisciplinary Studies in Technology marks a pioneering effort to bring competency-based education to a leading public university and works with Purdue’s other ongoing initiatives to improve affordability, technology and quality. In a sector too often marked by caution and routine, Purdue continues to lead the way.”

Rick Hess, resident scholar and director of Education Policy Studies
American Enterprise Institute


“This new program shows the great progress Purdue is making at competency-based education. The university has become a global leader in new models of higher education.”

Darrell West, vice president and director, governance studies, and founding director, Center for Technology Innovation
Brookings Institution


“Purdue’s ambitious foray into competency-based education will provide valuable knowledge on a subject that has generated a lot of hype but not a lot of hard evidence.”

Matthew Chingos, senior fellow (education studies)
Urban Institute


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