by Hallie Busta
Marni Baker Stein, chief academic officer at Western Governors University, discusses a “tension” she sees between traditional and new models of postsecondary education.
News earlier this year that Western Governors University would not have to pay back $713 million in Title IV funds was seen as a vote of confidence for alternative instructional models in higher education.
While a 2017 audit by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General found the nonprofit online college’s competency-based education (CBE) model didn’t square with current rules for online learning, a subsequent review by its Federal Student Aid office cited new guidanceand “a reasonable and good faith effort” by the college to abide by it as a reason to drop the penalty. The OIG signed off on the move.