The $10,000 Bachelor's Degree Arrives

"Today in Washington, the disruption of higher ed will take another step with the announcement of the first nationally available $10,000 bachelor’s degree. That’s $10,000 for the whole degree, not per year," Bloomberg Businessweek reports

"It will be offered by College for America, an online operation of Southern New Hampshire University. The college keeps its costs down by offering classes online. Unlike other online schools, it operates through employers. Companies such as McDonald’s (MCD) and Partners HealthCare, a hospital operator that’s the biggest private employer in Massachusetts, will offer College for America as an employee benefit and as a way to upgrade the quality of their workforces.

College for America doesn’t teach courses with credit hours. It teaches competencies, and it tests them using projects that resemble work that employees would be called on to do in their real lives. The first bachelor’s degrees to be offered are in health-care management and communications. College for America soft-launched last year with various associate’s degrees. ...

The school’s online degree won’t solve the problem of college costs for everyone, but the trend toward teaching practical skills may well trickle up. Says [Southern New Hampshire University President Paul] LeBlanc: 'There are a lot of these programs coming. There are already a fair number of competency-based programs in existence, thirtyish. There are 130 in development and hundreds being discussed. This is a wave. This is coming.'"

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