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Education Department Approves Competency-Based Program at Capella U.


Students enrolled in the for-profit online university's FlexPath program, which offers bachelor's and master's degrees in business via a self-paced, direct-assessment method, will be eligible for federal student aid, Capella announced today.

In a written statement, the university's president, Scott Kinney, said that federal approval of FlexPath "will offer an important new option to the adult students we serve who are looking to earn a respected degree as efficiently and affordably as possible."

Capella had submitted the program for federal approval after the department issued a "Dear Colleague" letter to colleges in Marchspecifying its expectations for programs that sought to award degrees based on demonstrated competencies rather than credit hours.

The department has since approved competency-based programs atSouthern New Hampshire University.

FlexPath won approval from Capella's accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, in May.

Correction, 8/12/2013, 3:40 p.m.: This article originally stated that the U.S. Education Department had approved a competency-based program at the University of Wisconsin, but that is not the case. The article has been changed to reflect that.