Northern Arizona University’s Personalized Learning is an innovative way to earn your college degree online. This competency-based education program reimagines the college experience by focusing on developing key skills and knowledge areas called competencies.
So, what is a competency? Unlike class objectives on a course syllabus, competencies are essential knowledge and skill areas that apply to your degree as well as your career. Instead of narrowing competencies down into individual courses, Personalized Learning identifies all the competencies required for your degree program and distributes them across different lessons and subjects in order to provide you the best learning experience.
Here’s how it works. You complete each lesson based on how well you understand and demonstrate the competency, not on how much time you spend in the class. When you achieve all of the competencies targeted in your degree program, you are equipped with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in your chosen career.
Online classes let you take traditional college classes in an online format from any location. Most online classes are simply classroom courses placed into an online tool. The course curriculum still follows a traditional college class format with fixed deadlines and strict schedules.
Personalized Learning is an online competency-based degree program designed to enhance the online college experience. In competency-based education, your degree curriculum is composed of proficiencies designed to develop competencies in the way you learn best. To earn a competency, you demonstrate your knowledge of that area. In other words, you complete a competency and progress based on your true understanding of the topic, not because you’re great at memorization. That means you advance at your own pace, quickly or gradually. It’s all based on how well you understand and demonstrate your knowledge of each competency. No fixed deadlines, no strict schedules.
"The courses are incredibly easy to navigate. That's a big thing when you're in an online, virtual environment. The way the website and our student portals are designed, everything we need is right in front of us all the time."
–Susan Gray, Personalized Learning student
“The NAU Personalized Learning program exceeded my expectations in a number of ways, primarily in the enthusiastic involvement of the participating faculty and the speed with which I was able to make my way through the program.”
–Richard Brandt, Personalized Learning graduate
See what’s being said about Personalized Learning in the
Meet the NAU administrators and lead faculty behind the
creation of Personalized Learning.
Learn more about traditional online programs available
through Northern Arizona University.