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May 06, 2014 10:20 AM EDT

SNHU Offers two $10,000 Bachelor’s Degrees for Working Adults

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Southern New Hampshire University's College for America has added two $10,000 bachelor's degrees to its existing list of online offerings for working adults.

Similar to other online programs, the newly introduced degrees in healthcare management and communications have no conventional classes, instructors or grades. Instead, students learn the materials and other documents at their convenience and are assessed based on their command of skill areas.

Both programs cost $2,500 per year.

SNHU President Paul LeBlanc said that the goal of introducing such programs is to encourage more and more students to apply and pursue BAs through the proficiency-based learning models by this fall.

"Through the various competencies, we're very clear about claims we make for what students learn and what they can do," LeBlanc said. "That's really what people love about the program. There's no sliding by with a 'C.' You've either mastered something or you haven't yet," Union Leader reports.

Employers ranging from McDonald's to Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield have expressed their gratitude toward such courses as skills like effective team work or basic writing skills make employees competent enough to perform a task successfully.

"So many educational models are really based on inputs. . . . If you have enough Ph.D.s on your faculty, if you have enough volumes in your library, if you have enough incoming students with high-enough SAT scores, the assumption was, what comes out at the other end of the process is really good," LeBlanc said. "But employers are increasingly skeptical of that claim," Concord Monitor reports.

Le Blanc said that students have come to appreciate such courses as they can manage their own learning and need not spend hours together in classrooms.

SNHU is one among several colleges in the country that grants credits purely based on a student's learning outcomes rather than for time spent in class.

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