David Lando plans to start working toward a diploma from the University of Wisconsin this fall, but he doesn't intend to set foot on campus or even take a single online course offered by the school's well-regarded faculty.
Instead, he will sit through hours of testing at his home computer in Milwaukee under a new program that promises to award a bachelor's degree based on knowledge—not just class time or credits.
"I have all kinds of credits all over God's green earth, but I'm using this to finish it all off," said the 41-year-old computer consultant, who has an associate degree in information technology but never finished his bachelor's in psychology.
Colleges and universities are rushing to offer free online classes known as "massive open online courses," or MOOCs. But so far, no one has figured out a way to stitch these classes together into a bachelor's degree.