The competency-based degree program at Purdue University was developed by a group of faculty after accepting a challenge from the president of Purdue University. The degree program is a faculty-driven initiative with very broad support, ranging from the president and board of trustees, who approved this as one of the ten “Purdue Moves” initiatives, the offices involved in the logistics (registrar, bursar, financial aid, IT, student transcripts, etc.), to several colleges enthusiastically collaborating in making this degree happen.
The infrastructure and logistics of the competency-based approach are being developed collaboratively. Individual departments help define the competencies and their faculty will have full control in assessing and granting the competencies. The registrar’s office and IT at Purdue are developing the infrastructure to manage competencies in accordance with courses. Students sign up for courses to manage their time, and they declare a set of competencies they are targeting. Two versions of the student’s transcripts will be generated -- a traditional course/grade-based transcript and a competency non-graded transcript.
The program was offered experimentally in fall 2014 with a cohort of 34 students and will continue in spring 2015. The full implementation of the competency-based degree program will begin in fall 2015.