Competency-Based, Blended-Learning Initiative Expands Undergraduate Access

A PATHWAY FORWARD: National Louis University is expanding its pilot of an affordable competency-based, blended-learning program to broaden access to Chicago-area students.

Called Harrison Professional Pathways, the program uses the Acrobatiq adaptive learning platform. It’s geared toward first-generation college students and charges $10,000 per year, eCampus News reports. Applicants need only a 2.0 GPA, which is one way the program is designed to broaden access. Enrolled students spend two years in a general-studies, education or business track before moving on to other bachelor’s programs for their remaining two years at National Louis. The Acrobatiq courseware replaces traditional course materials and most instruction, though students also work with a teacher face-to-face two days per week and are matched with a “Success Coach” for academic, personal and career planning matters.

The program launched with 78 students in September 2015, and 96 percent of them returned for the following semester. Applications for September 2016 now stand at 1,500—all of whom the University plans to accept. 

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