Competency based education : a Los Angeles diploma program for adults : a historical development

According to Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Competence (n.): (1) Means sufficient for the necessities of life; (2) the quality or state of having requisite abilities or qualities. As a result of national and state assessments, government-office evaluations, voicing of employer concerns, local community in-put and student surveys, the educational system has confronted an urgent need to reestablish priorities in school curricula which will provide a quality learning program based upon the fundamental skills of reading, writing, speaking, listening, computation and problem-solving as related to established competencies in Consumer Economics, Career Development, Health, Community Resources and Participatory Democracy. This thesis begins with the rationale for such a program, citing national, state and local statistics of educational failure and deficiency. The second part of the chapter is devoted, basically, to the Adult Performance Level (APL) Study supervised by Dr. Norvell Northcutt through the University of Texas which provides a model for states to use as a guideline in establishing their own particular programs. Various other state projects are reviewed to provide a broader base for the Los Angeles model. With an explanation and an assessment of the present Los Angeles adult diploma requirements, and the limited alternatives available to meet the individual needs within such a diverse student body, a new philosophy statement is endorsed, a proposal made, and a structure model for a Los Angeles competency based adult diploma program is established.