Nontraditional grants of credit

Lynn University is taking a novel and controversial approach to incoming student credit.  Students who choose to go to a non-accredited provider, General Assembly,for a 16-week intensive technology design program, can earn up to 15 Carnegie hours of credit for the experience.

The field is definitely growing:

The partnership appears to be the first in which students from a traditional university can earn a full semester’s worth of credits in the rapidly expanding coding boot camp space — a sector with an anticipated 16,000 graduates and $172 million in revenue this year.  
Such an experience isn’t cheap, though.

The experience will come with a relatively steep price tag. Lynn students will pay $14,000 in tuition for the 16-week General Assembly program, as well as $8,300 for housing. They also will pay for their own airfare.

The bold move appears to be in response to the skills-based needs employers consistently inform universities they are seeking from graduates.  But assignment of credit for alternative – especially non-accredited- programming is contentious.  How much credit could a university offer for work done at non-accredited institutions and still maintain its status with the Higher Learning Commission?  Does the very grant of credit for non-accredited work undermine the accreditation process?

On the other hand, the initiative is creative and allows universities to think more broadly about what constititutes student learning and how we assess and grant credit for it.



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