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EWA​, the professional organization dedicated to ​strengthening the community of education ​writers and improving the ​quality of education coverage ​to better inform the public, hosts ​a weekly podcast featuring lively interviews with journalists.

Nov 7, 2023

What if you could earn a college degree by demonstrating your mastery of a specific set of skills, rather than completing a minimum number of hours instructional seat time? 

That’s the premise behind a massive experiment underway in California’s community colleges. EWA Reporting Fellow Adam Echelman of CalMatters shares insights from his close look at the promise – and potential perils – of “competency based education.” 

Who are the students most likely to enroll in these programs? What’s known about the quality of their experience and their long-term outcomes? Why are some faculty pushing back while others are embracing the experiment?