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Hickenlooper, Romney Introduce Bill to Promote Competency-Based Education

Jul 20, 2023

WASHINGTON— Yesterday, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Mitt Romney introduced the Competency-Based Education Act of 2023, a bill to codify the Department of Education’s regulations governing the eligibility of competency-based education (CBE) programs – a pedagogical model that focuses on a student’s mastery of a subject through demonstrated skills and real-world performance, rather than by time in a classroom. The bipartisan legislation would write competency-based education into federal law, highlighting the importance of CBE programs as recognized, viable alternatives to other traditional higher education programs.

“A ‘one size fits all’ approach to education leaves too many behind,” said Senator Hickenlooper. “Our bill helps higher education institutions meet students where they are. Treating them as individuals ensures more of them will graduate.”

“As a society, we must ensure that people from all walks of life have the skills and training necessary for the jobs of the future,” Senator Romney said. “This legislation is one way Congress can take to make it easier for Americans to learn specific skills and get well-paying jobs without accruing mountains of debt. Importantly, it also affirms Utah’s own Western Governors University as a model for competency-based education.”

Yesterday, Senators Hickenlooper and Romney hosted a panel on higher education and the workforce. The two discussed the roles of innovation and technology in education, workforce shortages and skill gaps, and bipartisan collaboration on workforce development legislation.

A copy of the bill text can be found here.


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