U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, today issued the following statement after the House passed H.R. 3136, the Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act. The bill passed the House by a vote of 414-0:
"I am pleased to work with my colleagues on the Education and Workforce Committee to pass H.R. 3136, the Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Projects Act of 2014, because this bill represents a common sense solution for many adult learners looking to advance their careers.
"This bill allows for the creation of a competency based demonstration project that will allow colleges and universities to test innovative new program structures which could reduce the amount of time it takes to complete a degree, which would make earning a higher degree more affordable and accessible to more Americans.
"Competency-based education shifts the focus to what works best for adult learners. Instead of awarding credits based on how much time students spend learning in class, this approach awards credits based on whether students can prove they have mastered competencies--the skills, abilities, and knowledge required in an area of study.
"Back at home, the University of Wisconsin has been developing the UW Flexible Option at multiple UW institutions to convert existing degree programs and curricula in to competency-based delivery models. I'm proud that UW has been a leader in this field, and believe that UW's successes in this area can be replicated across the country.
"This bill helps promote a new and important educational path for many students who otherwise would not be able to complete a degree. I look forward to seeing the bill pass the Senate and be signed by President Obama."