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JEVS + SNHU FAQ 1: How Does This Competency-Based Program Work?

June 26, 2019

JEVS Human Services has teamed up with nonprofit Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) to offer a unique post-secondary education to help residents in the Delaware Valley to earn a degree. Drawing upon insights from workforce and industry leaders, the accredited degree programs are designed to support individuals in developing the competencies needed to advance their careers.

In our Frequently Asked Questions Series, Grace Cannon, director of post-secondary education at JEVS, explains how this new partnership between SNHU and JEVS provides degree seekers with a much different opportunity than other college programs. Read on for question one (how this competency-based program works) or find the other FAQs here:

> FAQ 2: Program flexibility, self-paced curriculum

> FAQ 3: JEVS personal coach helps student to succeed

QUESTION 1: The SNHU-JEVS degree program is competency-based. What does that mean and how does this differ from a “traditional” degree program or online program?

A. In a competency-based learning system you are asked to “show what you know” by demonstrating mastery of skills. Once you show mastery of a skill or competency, you can move onto the next competency. You can set the pace. The competencies in the SHNU curriculum are all aligned to the workplace and what employers are saying are critical skills they need in their employees. In SNHU powered by JEVS, you complete and submit a project to show what you know. After a submission, SNHU faculty will review the task and assign a “mastered” or “not yet.” You can think of “mastered” as the “A” in a traditional education system. With a “not yet” you get immediate teacher feedback so that you can revise and resubmit to achieve mastery. You can move at your own pace to submit and master competencies. There are no credit hours to fulfill; the quality of your work stands on its own.

Think of competency-based learning as the opposite of “seat time.” In high school and college, most of us sat in seats for a number of hours, days, periods and months.  However, the time we sat in that seat did not mean we mastered a certain set of knowledge. Sitting in that seat in freshman English did not mean you mastered writing. The quality of you writing shows you mastered writing. For someone working my car, I don’t care how much time they spent in an automotive classroom. I care about that they were able to demonstrate mastery of repairing an actual engine. In SNHU powered by JEVS, seat time is gone and it is up to the learner to show what they know or demonstrate mastery. There are no tests or quizzes in the SNHU competency model; there are real world projects that you can complete at your own pace. Employers have told us and SNHU that this is what they are looking for- people who can do the work and not just say they have x,y,z credits in a  particular area.

Southern New Hampshire University, powered by JEVS is enrolling now for fall 2019 semester courses. Click here to request more info. 

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