Part 1 – Leadership: Vision into Action

How will higher education respond to emerging high school graduates from Competency-Based K-12 schools, who expect transparency of learning outcomes and  more authentic approach to assessment?

With the 2005 enactment of New Hampshire State policies stipulating high school student success required the measurement of demonstration of learning, not merely compliance with the Carnegie Unit (measuring seat, schools within the state began to reexamine how and what they were teaching and assessing). They designed high quality competencies and performance assessments that provided a transparent alignment between what students were learning and the skills, knowledge and abilities they would need to demonstrate to move on.

This isn’t just a next generation learning phenomenon happening in our home state, but in states across the country. In the years that followed No Child Left Behind and the reauthorization of ESSA, many states sought to ensure they were teaching and assessing what students needed to be successful in their classes and beyond.



As these new graduates are emerging from competency-based high schools and entering colleges and universities across the country — they are bringing with them a high expectation of transferability (understanding how skills relate across disciplines), accessibility (move when ready, any time any place learning) and transparency in what they are learning (how assessments relate to the outcomes driving the learning experience).

Will a traditional college or university experience be enough to keep students motivated and engaged? How will higher education respond to the forces of change occurring in K-12 and the already competency-based business and industry workplace?

In this 5 part series, we will explore how Dr. Andy Lynch, Associate Dean of the School of Business at Southern New Hampshire University, became passionately curious about connecting advances made through technology and instruction for a more equitable and accessible approach to higher education. Although a small improvement for the robust academic delivery of SNHU’s on-campus School of Business, he proposes a significant breakthrough for the continuum of learning and a bridge between K-12 and higher education.

In this first episode, we will examine the important role vision and leadership play in moving to a new way of teaching and assessing learning and the recurring theme we hear most often when we talk to people about competency-based education: the need for leadership in ushering this level of dynamic change.  How do you translate the vision into the nuts and bolts of doing the good work that moves the transformation forward from a course-centric approach to one that is student-centric?