Rasmussen uses a competency-based education model that gives professionals credit for what they know, allowing them to focus learning on new skills and material. Students have the flexibility to work ahead and demonstrate mastery of course topics to better balance the demands of their work, school and other obligations. Courses last 11 weeks, and it’s up to the student how fast they advance through.
“Competency-based education (CBE) introduces even more flexibility to students. There are still assignments, but there are no due dates. There is still access to faculty and instructors, yet there’s no requirement to sit and view a lecture at a certain time,” Moorhead says.
Instructors host live lectures, so there is the opportunity for student-teacher interaction if a student prefers, but the lectures are also pre-recorded. Each course is broken into key competencies, and assignments are created to measure those. The program also provides students with a downloadable portfolio of these competencies and related coursework to provide employers when they are looking for a job or seeking a raise or promotion in their current field.
“I didn’t expect to be connected with students in an online program. I thought it was going to be a very private learning experience, but I’ve made some lifelong, amazing friends,” Booth says. “I’m just impressed with the level of staff who they are bringing into the program. I’ve had a wonderful experience with the quality of education that I would say is better than what I got in my undergrad, and I thought that was amazing.”
CBE makes this program possible for Booth, he says. He and his wife, who is currently pursuing her Ph.D. online, have four kids ages 12 to 20. They plan the heck of their calendars and make sure that they carve out time for family as well. For example, the whole family spent a week in Cancun this summer and just shut out all other commitments. He just worked ahead to make that time.
‘I SHOULD HAVE PAID $100,000 FOR THIS MBA’
Booth is now completing classes 9 and 10 out of a total of 12. In his career, his undergrad business degree has landed him jobs in all different kinds of industries, to big box retail, to corporate safety to healthcare. He’ll decide what comes next after graduation.
“I don’t think I could be finishing at a better time with an MBA, looking at the job market and what’s available, because even right now I’m having people reach out to me like crazy with opportunities,” Booth says. “I haven’t taken any of them because I want to leave that open for now. I just want to play that by ear.”
After he first saw the Rasmussen advertisement on his phone, he talked about it with a neighbor (who he also roped into doing the program with him.) How good could it be for $10,000? But then, they thought, it’s not the price tag of the MBA, it’s what you’re putting into it and, in turn, what you’re getting out of it.
“The MBA gets you the interview. How you apply what you’ve learned is where you sell yourself, that’s where the true learning comes into play. That’s when an employer will say, ‘That’s what I’m looking for,’” he says.
“I feel like I should have paid $100,000 for this MBA. It has been that impactful for me.”