Frequently asked questions about College for America
College for America (CfA) is a college within the nonprofit, fully accredited Southern New Hampshire University. CfA is dedicated to radically expanding access and quality of higher education by offering college degrees that are competency-based, low-cost, and uniquely applicable in the workplace. We partner with employers nationwide to make our college degree programs available to their working adult employees.
College for America was built to give working adults a better way to earn a college degree based on what they prove they know and can do (ie, competencies)—not how many lectures they have sat through (ie, credit hours). Our school is engineered to remove the three major barriers to a college-level education for working adults: costs they can’t afford, schedules that don’t work for them, and learning outcomes that lack rigor and applicability in the workplace.
SNHU is a private, accredited, nonprofit university founded in 1930 and known today for focusing on student success and educational innovation. The university offers more than 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programs at a traditional undergraduate campus in Manchester, NH and satellite learning centers across New Hampshire and Maine. It is one of the largest online colleges of any nonprofit University in the country.
The program costs $3,000 a year, all inclusive. Click here for more information.
Access to College for America is offered through partnerships with more than 70 employers across the nation, with more joining every month. To see if your employer offers College for America, check here.
College for America partners with employers nationwide, including private corporations, nonprofits, local governments, and more to help them build talent and promotable skills. It gives their employees access to extraordinarily affordable, accredited college degree programs. Learn more about how to partner with College for America here.
The college is designed for working adults in a wide variety of occupations and industries who are seeking a college degree.
College for America is organized around competencies rather than traditional courses. Competencies are can-do statements such as (examples from our Associate of Arts degree in General Studies):
This competency-based approach focuses on learning, not seat time or credit hours. It ensures that students have acquired the most relevant and necessary workforce skills—including communication, critical and creative thinking, and collaboration and teamwork.
College for America’s curricula, grounded in well-regarded frameworks for higher education, rest on the building blocks of the Lumina Foundation’s Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP), the U.S. Department of Labor competency models, among others.
Students in the associate of arts program are required to master 120 core competencies in nine key areas:
Students in the bachelor of arts programs will master 120 advanced competencies, many of which are specific to their area of study, after graduating from the AA program or another accredited associate of arts program.
Students work on authentic, real-world scenarios in the course of projects that enable them to demonstrate what they know while they learn by doing. Projects are assessed by credentialed reviewers using analytic rubrics. To complete a project, a student must prove mastery of a given set of competencies.
College for America does not use a traditional grading scale. A student either completes a project by mastering competencies and progresses to the next one or continues to submit a project until they achieve mastery of all the competencies. There is no grade inflation or “sliding by” in the programs; students have either demonstrated mastery of a competency or they are still working on it.
College for America offers Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Arts programs, each with concentration options:
All of our degree programs are approved by New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Regional accreditation is the most widely recognized and accepted type of college accreditation and represents a higher standard than national accreditation.
Yes, because College for America and SNHU are regionally accredited, the degrees are eligible for transfer. Transcripts reflect the mastered competencies, but can be “translated” into course equivalencies.
NOTE: As with all accredited programs, acceptance of transfer credits is at the discretion of each university. Please inquire with your universities of choice to confirm acceptance.
Students interested in our BA programs can submit a completed associate’s degree from an accredited college to be reviewed for transferability. Sixty or more credits from an accredited college may also be submitted for review.
Federal financial aid is available for all degree programs to those who qualify. If you are a College for America applicant or student, contact the Student Financial Services office to ask about your financial aid eligibility and options:
Yes, students have multiple sources of support:
Learn more about our reviewers and coaches here.
Feel free to reach out to us if you have any more questions about College for America. We’re always happy to help!
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