Flex Choice: Rethinking Learning
Maybe you’re returning to school as an adult. You need a degree in the fastest time possible, while balancing work or family. You want your life experience, previously earned credits and learning background to count. You have a unique story with knowledge and experiences that only you can bring to your college classroom—and we’ve got real-world learning options that work for you.
Welcome to Rasmussen University and Flex Choice®, where you can open your path to a degree and meet the future head-on.
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Kareem's Success with Competency-Based Education
Kareem R. was one month from graduating with her business degree when the college she was attending unexpectedly closed. Having just accepted a second job, she needed to find a flexible degree option that gave her greater control in balancing work, life and college. She enrolled in the Rasmussen University Business Management Bachelor’s Degree-Completion program which offers a mix of traditional online coursework, self-directed assessments and competency-based education (CBE) and quickly fell in love with her CBE courses.
Combine traditional coursework and credit for prior learning, online self-directed assessments or competency-based education (CBE) so you can receive credit by demonstrating what you know and can do.
Credit for Prior Learning
Your job and life experiences count with us. Past college coursework, military transcripts, course waivers and industry certifications all maximize your credits and reduce overall costs. To learn more about how Rasmussen University assesses your prior learning and previous college credits, visit our Transfer Policy page.
With Flex Choice, you can get credit for what you already know. These interactive, self-directed assessments are taken independently. If you prefer, you can get one-on-one guidance from an academic coach, and support materials are also provided to help you brush up. At $99 per assessment, you'll save money and time.
Competency-Based Education (CBE)
Rasmussen University is a national leader in competency-based education. CBE prioritizes your learning over time, giving you greater control to balance work and life with college. Do you already have knowledge and experience in a certain area? Do you want to move faster through competencies you understand and slow down in areas that may be new for you? Our project-based CBE courses are paced for you and are accessible anytime, anywhere. Plus, you'll have faculty support to ensure your success.
"I appreciated the fact that CBE allowed you to live your life and still go to school, so you didn’t feel like you were burdened or overwhelmed. It was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t change it."
Rasmussen University CBE Graduate
- Savings calculated from students enrolled at Rasmussen University who utilized Flex Choice® Credit by Assessment, which were offered for no additional charge when taken concurrently with traditional courses from May 2014 to January 2018. When completed, assessments reduced the number of traditional courses students were required to complete as part of their program. From the launch of Flex Choice Credit by Assessment in May 2014 through January 2018, 8,297 courses have been completed. Calculation: 8,297 courses x 3.2 credits per course = 26,550 credits. Cost per credit $250 x 26,550 credits = $6,637,500 in savings in the last four years. Since January 2017, we’ve been charging $99 per attempt 10,280 attempts since January 2017 x $99 = $1,017,720 in revenue. $6,637,500 savings - $1,017,720 revenue = $5,619,780 saved.
How Competency-Based Education Is Different
CBE is flexible, minimizes repetition and respects the knowledge students bring to the classroom. It’s a way for students to demonstrate proficiency when they are ready, not when a calendar says the assignment is due. CBE programs allow students to show what they know, measured by demonstrations of skills and competencies, rather than by the hours spent in a classroom. CBE courses are within the academic term with attendance requirements.
CBE Courses vs. Self-Directed Assessments
Both formats are flexible and online, but there are a few key differences. Though the assessments are self-directed, an academic coach is available when needed and each course needs to be completed in 45 days. Select assessments allow students to go through interactive activities in order to earn badges. Self-directed assessments are posted as a test-out (TO) on a student’s transcript.
CBE courses differ primarily in that they are financial aid-eligible for those who qualify, students earn a grade, and credits are based on modules with defined competencies in real-world projects. Faculty support and interaction helps you quickly apply skills you already have and master new skills you’ll need.
The Learning Experience in a CBE Course
Competency-based education courses align with the same general goals as traditional courses: Students will be asked to master skills and prove their knowledge by completing a project. The differences are in the details.
Each CBE course is led by a faculty member and delivered in an engaging online platform. When a student logs in to review their learning plan and the competencies that lie ahead, the first thing they will encounter is the course project. The project allows students to apply their knowledge in a real-world scenario. And though grading expectations are set, students decide when the project is complete within the term. For a complete look into a CBE course, view the Rasmussen University CBE Online Demo video in the How Flex Choice Works section above.
How to Get Credit for Prior Learning
Credit can be earned through course waivers, industry certifications, Advanced Placement (AP) courses, College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, StraighterLine credit pathway, portfolio organizations, military experience and American Council of Education (ACE) recommended courses. To see a full list, contact an admissions advisor.
How Flex Choice Saves You Time and Money
Self-directed assessments (taken in place of traditional, full-semester courses) are only $99 per attempt. Taking advantage of what you already know allows for optimal program cost savings. Rasmussen University has saved students more than $5.6 million on 8,297 completed assessments through self-directed assessments.1
Flex Choice provides more flexibility, allowing you to work without strict assignment deadlines at your own pace. Speed up or slow down as your schedule allows. Achieve balance as you get through challenging coursework while also focusing on responsibilities at work or home. Take a breather, and when you feel ready, dive back in.
Flex Choice Availability by Program
Select Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree programs offer a blend of traditional courses, competency-based education or self-directed assessments—all in our flexible online format—depending on the specific program. Most Master’s degrees offer classes online with competency-based education to maximize efficiency by focusing on defined competencies based on critical skills with faculty interaction and graded instruction. Some Diploma programs also offer self-directed assessments to help shorten your timeline to graduation.
Flex Choice and your chosen program work hand-in-hand. You can move through them at a more flexible pace to accommodate home and work responsibilities. If Flex Choice is available, your advisor will schedule a blend of traditional and CBE courses. CBE courses are to be taken alongside your traditional courses and must be completed within a standard 12-week term. View our program and credential pages or speak to an admissions advisor for questions about a specific program.
Flex Choice Availability by Course
Students enrolled in Flex Choice programs get the advantage of competency-based courses. CBE courses are available within major areas of study and for General Education. To name just a few courses available with CBE: The Psychology of Social Media, Strategic Management, Visual Communication in the Media, Organizational Behavior Analysis and Contemporary Leadership Challenges. Self-directed assessments are available in many subject areas at both lower- and upper-division levels. When you enroll, your advisor will identify those that apply to your program.
Continuous Help and Support
CBE courses are offered in a format that includes personal faculty interaction in a highly engaging platform. Faculty provide feedback on your work and are available along the way to help. Whether your question is related to content, technology or time management, they are there to lend guidance and support. In CBE courses, you also have the benefit of student success coaches to help. With self-directed assessments, you can get one-on-one guidance from an academic coach.
Plus, our advisors help you plan and strategize the right timing for Flex Choice courses and continue to support you as you make your way to graduation. The Personal Support Center (PSC) is also available to help with technology and online learning issues by phone at 866-693-2211 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Flex Choice was the differentiation for me when I was looking at a number of different colleges. That was one of the big appeals. Flexibility is huge when your time for school is limited to after work and on the weekends."
Flex Choice Student