Universities all over the globe (except NC State, for whatever reason??) are rushing to develop MOOCs. MOOCs are an effective means of disseminating knowledge and have the potential to be quite engaging. But by themselves, MOOCs are no threat to the business model of the modern university unless they are accompanied by some means of credibly certifying to employers that the person who passed the MOOC actually has mastered the material.
Enter certification exams. These have long been available in such field as computer science, finance and project management. Now we have a certification exam for four year undergraduate degrees, according to WSJ. The Collegiate Learning Assessment will be open to anyone willing to pay the $35 fee. Employers are embracing the test as a more reliable signal of student knowledge than GPA or university selectivity.
Some schools are jumping on the bandwagon as well, mainly because such tests help them meet assurance of learning standards for accreditation. An exam for MBAs has been developed, but has not yet caught on. Yet.
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