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As Congress Eyes ‘Competency-based’ Degrees, NAU Already Claims Success

Not only does Phoenix resident Jeremy Dodd expect to be the first in his family to get a four-year college degree — he expects he’ll be able to do it in just 2.5 years.

That’s because Dodd is enrolled in a Northern Arizona University program that lets students earn credit by passing tests to demonstrate what they already know, instead of how long they sat in a classroom.

“It takes into account my real-world work experience from the last 10 years of my life,” said Dodd, 32, a father of two who is pursuing a degree in computer information sciences. He said he “couldn’t be happier” with the program.