Excelsior College is a regionally accredited, nonprofit distance learning institution that focuses on removing obstacles to the educational goals of adult learners. Founded in 1971 and located in Albany, NY, Excelsior is a proven leader in the assessment and validation of student knowledge. It offers more efficient and affordable access to degree completion through multiple avenues: its own online courses and college-level proficiency examinations, and the acceptance in transfer of credit from other colleges and universities as well as recognized corporate and military training programs. Excelsior College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Excelsior’s School of Nursing is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and is a three-time designee as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing.
Since 1975, Excelsior College has been offering a competency-based associate degree in nursing. Created with funding from the Kellogg Foundation, the competency standards for the program were developed by expert nursing clinicians and educators who identified the necessary competencies required of a beginning registered nurse. The program was designed to enable students with clinical experience to earn a degree and become a Registered Nurse (RN). The degree program includes a consecutive two and one-half day capstone assessment of students’ clinical skills competency. The examination is revised annually to ensure alignment with current clinical practice standards and has been reviewed by the American Council on Education (ACE) for credit recommendation and confirmation of reliability and validity. Post-graduation, students must successfully complete the NCLEX-RN exam to be granted an RN license.
Excelsior College is also developing a new competency-based curriculum that will be structured so that students can “mix-and-match” competency-based courses with standard courses, exams, and other forms of prior learning assessment. Excelsior College’s Bachelor of Science in Business, for example, includes eight different focus areas, all tailored for adult learners and accepting of a variety of different forms of professional credit issued before or during enrollment in the program.