Brandman University’s MyPath App Offers Competency-Based Degree


Online app MyPath, offered through Brandman University, a private nonprofit university, is allowing students to earn a competency-based Bachelor in Business Administration degree at a low cost.

MyPath is utilizing competency-based learning to help students only learn what they need to learn rather than follow a prescribed series of courses that may not benefit them. Any professional and personal experiences that contributed to knowledge acquisition are taken into account and help accelerate the course completion process. In other words, the student is not expected to spend any time on concepts already mastered.

As Brandman University says in describing its innovative learning approach, MyPath's competency-based degrees make it possible to earn a degree in less time and with less money. The University explains what makes its approach different on its official MyPath page:

"By allowing you to apply life experience college credits to your academic path, MyPath CBE reduces costs, eliminates the traditional barriers to attaining a higher education, and provides your employer with a true measure of your skills and aptitudes."

To help students complete their bachelor's as fast as possible, the University offers an incentive: for $2,700 they can earn as many credits as they can within six months. This means that students completing their program in two and a half years pay $13,500 for the entire bachelor's degree, according to Gary Brahm, Brandman University Chancellor, WPRI reports.

MyPath is aimed at non-traditional students such as adult learners with busy schedules. During a beta stage, about 100 students used the app and according to Brandman more than 500 new students have signed up for an online course through an iPad or tablet at the moment, says.

To be eligible for learning through MyPath, candidates must hold a high school diploma or a GED equivalent and a minimum of 2.0 GPA. Candidates must also have successfully completed the Competency Intro Module that identifies student strengths, weaknesses, and current knowledge. For students transferring fewer than 12 college credits, a passing score in English and Math admission tests is also essential.

Students don't have to buy any textbooks or attend campus classes because every activity and learning session is taking place virtually. Faculty and coaches offer guidance and support online through the app as well. MyPath offers students access to digital textbooks, the Chapman University System's library and other study materials and exams.

Jim Donovan, a consumer reporter for CBS, looked into the story of adult learner Colin Grieg, who is using the app to earn his college degree. As Grieg explained, there's no pressure as he can set deadlines as he sees fit.

Grieg said that the flexibility of the app allows him to take advantage of any free time he has throughout the day to work on a paper or take a quiz:

"I'm hoping I can have my degree completed within 12 months, so by May of 2016."

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