From NBC-2.com (7/3/2014). View video and Original NBC-2.com news story here
FORT MYERS, FL - Earning a degree at Hodges University could become easier and more affordable.
This fall, the school is starting a new program which takes advantage of what you already know.
A lot of the students at Hodges University worked in the business world before coming back to the class. Now the school wants to give students credit for that experience: it’s called competency-based learning.
"It doesn't matter where you learned it, what matters is you know it and can do it," explains Provost Dr. Kim Spiezio.
Starting in the fall, the school will offer degrees in digital design and computer information technology through the competency-based learning program.
If students have experience in the subject matter from work or military service, they can earn credit for those classes by testing out of them and move on to upper level courses.
"I think it's a terrific idea," explains Nick Hubbell, a retired army officer and current student. "The GI bill would pay for this and veterans can make use of their experiences they've gained while in service."
The selling point of this program is the price. Especially since traditional tuition at Hodges just went up $20 from $510 to $530 per credit hour.
With this program, students pay a flat fee of $2,000 and can earn as many credits as they can in six months. So if students earn 20 hours worth of credit, it boils down to paying $100 per credit hour.
"If you could do 20+ credits in successive six-month periods, you could earn your bachelor's degree in about 2.5 years for about $10,000," Spiezio points out.
Think of it as an all you can eat buffet, but you have to pace yourself; don’t bite off more than you can chew.
"You have to be disciplined to do this," Hubbell points out. "You have to have your own mental discipline to go through that course and know everyday you have to put x amount of hours in."
School leaders say Hodges is the second school in the state to offer this program.
The online classes start September 1.