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DePaul University's created the School for New Learning in September, 1972, to serve adult learners. The school developed a competency-based, individualized Bachelor of Arts degree for adults. The attached is the final report for the FIPSE grant that the school used to refine this program. It describes the theories, assumptions and framework that grounded this early CBE program and also frankly discusses some challenges in implementing the program.

The contents of this report were developed under grant #P116B740030 from the U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. The FIPSE database is at


For the last two years, DePaul University's School for New Learning has been funded by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) to articulate, refine and evaluate a competency-based framework for adult learners. The result--an unusual GENERALIST approach to competence--provides the conceptual underpinnings for the now fully realized school.

Rather than dwell on a demographic evaluation report (although statistical information is available), the Project Directors have chosen to present the philosophy, principles and processes which shape this new definition of a B.A. degree.

Central to the School's design is that it provide an environment which is learner-centered. Thus, it has been exciting to discover in the course of this project an historical foundation for key ideas in this program--the roots of the School's nontraditional approach to unifying learning and life. These ideas will be presented in the following paper. Documents produced for the development of the entire program (which was never seen as distinct from the funded project) are appended.

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