How it Works + How to Succeed

How it Works

Newlane is a competency-based program. This means that passing a course is just a matter of demonstrating that you’ve mastered all the course goals; it is not based on how much time you’ve spent. Each course provides course goals and objectives you’ll need to master to pass the course.

Newlane uses a three-phased assessment (or testing) process to verify that students have mastered the course goals. First, students self-assess mastery of all course objectives, then they take a computer-scored course exam that tests their mastery on each objective in the course, and complete one or more course project (the project may be a paper, or other presentation). Once a student has passed the course exam, and completed the course project(s), they meet in a live video chat with an expert for a course hearing, or oral exam.

During the course hearing, the expert references the course goals and objectives, and asks open-ended questions, and spot checks on any objectives until they are satisfied that the student has mastered the objectives or not. If the expert is satisfied that the student has mastered all the course goals and objectives, they approve, and the student passes the course. If they are not yet satisfied, they provide guidance to the student regarding which objectives to review prior to scheduling a follow-up course hearing. See how this all works in this video.

How to Succeed

In order to have the best chance of success, that is, to get the most out of your studies and complete your degree according to your preferred schedule, you should expect to do all of the following:

  • Deliberately schedule your time to complete your coursework. Since Newlane is a self-paced program, it can be easy to neglect your school work if you don’t make a deliberate decision to schedule regular and sufficient time to complete your coursework. How much time this is each week will vary depending on different levels of mastery students bring to their studies, and different student timelines. You’ll work with a counselor to make a schedule that works for you.
  • Make regular progress toward completing your degree. In order to pass a course, you’ll need to complete the three phases of assessment. In order to make regular progress, you should deliberately work to ensure that you are completing different phases, and moving toward your course hearing. In order to complete your degree, you’ll need to complete all the coursework.
  • Ask questions and request support. As a Newlane University student, you’ll receive regular check-ins from Newlane student support, where our student support team will inquire on your studies, and ask if you have any questions or could use additional support. Use these opportunities to ask questions and request support. We’re committed to helping you succeed; you should be committed to your own success too, and ask for help if you have questions, or could use more support. If you don’t have questions, or don’t need additional support, communicating that is helpful too.
  • Attend annual counselor sessions. As a Newlane University student, you agree to meet with a counselor at least once annually. These meetings are a great resource to help you understand where you are in your program, and to confirm or update your graduation schedule and plans. Of course, you can meet with a counselor outside of, and in addition to your annual session, but you should make sure you that you take full advantage of your annual session to help you stay on top of your studies, ask any questions, learn about any new resources, etc.

Sound like a program for you? We’d love to welcome you! Apply now.