Guideline on Competency Based or Correspondence Education

Guideline Name: Guideline on Competency-Based or Correspondence Education

Related Policy:  Florida Tech Policy for Reporting Substantive Change

Prepared by:  Accreditation Liaison

Original Date:  November 15, 2021

Current Guideline Date:  November 15, 2021

Applicable to:  All academic units

Context: 

The university is required to report substantive changes as required by SACSCOC and Florida Tech’s Policy for Reporting Substantive Change.  This guideline provides guidance on competency-based and correspondence education.

Guideline: 

  1. The university currently does not offer or approve competency-based education courses or programs.
  2. The university currently does not offer or approve direct assessment competency-based education courses or programs.
  3. The university currently does not offer or approve correspondence education programs.
  4. Changes to this guideline would need to be approved by the Office of the Provost with consultation from appropriate faculty committee(s).

Definition:

“A competency-based educational program is outcome-based and assesses a student’s attainment of competencies as the sole means of determining whether the student earns a degree or a credential. Such programs may be organized around traditional course-based units (credit or clock hours) that students must earn to complete their educational program, or may depart from course-based units (credit or clock hours) to rely solely on the attainment of defined competencies.”

Direct Assessment Competency-Based Educational Programs. Federal regulations define a direct assessment competency-based educational program as an instructional program that, in lieu of credit hours or clock hours as a measure of student learning, uses direct assessment of student learning relying solely on the attainment of defined competencies, or recognizes the direct assessment of student learning by others.”

“Correspondence courses are part of a formal educational process under which the institution provides instructional materials, by mail or electronic transmission, including examinations on the materials, to students who are separated from the instructor. Interaction between the instructor and the student is limited, is not regular and substantive, and is primarily initiated by the student; courses are typically self-paced.”