Part 2 – Alignment:  Using Industry Standards to Create Competencies and Assessments

How do we ensure that we are teaching and assessing what students need to be successful in today’s changing workforce and preparing learners to grow and be adept to handle industry advances and growth?

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, 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 high expectations 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 second episode, we will examine how industry standards were used to design competencies and align assessments to ensure students not only gain the skills, knowledge and abilities they need to be competitive in the rapidly changing field of business, but are given real-world, authentic opportunities for application to demonstrate mastery.

Did you miss the previous episode?

Listen to Part 1 here