How Self-Directed Assessments Can Enhance Your Employee Education Benefits Program

Offering employees opportunities to build their skills and knowledge is an established approach for retaining and attracting top talent for your organization. Many companies already offer tuition reimbursement for select certifications and degrees. But what’s often a barrier to educational and professional development is the time involved in earning these degrees and certifications.

Your employees juggle busy lives beyond the workday. Some might be hesitant to embark on more education if they think they might not have the time to fulfill coursework requirements or, worse yet, think they will be delayed by prerequisites that cover topics they’ve already mastered. Cost is also a factor. Not every employer can offer to cover the full tuition for their employees, so it’s only natural to want to make the most out of the funds you have available.

This is where self-directed assessments can help. Self-directed assessments are a way for your employees to demonstrate knowledge and skills they already possess in order to earn college credit, move ahead through courses and get to new material they need to learn. In turn, these assessments can help your organization’s employee education benefits budget stretch further—or simply make the program more affordable for the employee.

What are self-directed assessments?

At Rasmussen University, self-directed assessments are online assessment modules that your employees can take to show their existing knowledge on certain topics, letting them test out of familiar material and move ahead to new concepts.

Each self-directed assessment comes in the form of an online module where your employees will complete interactive work demonstrating their proficiency in a subject. While these independent assessments differ from traditional coursework because there’s no dedicated course instructor, employees who choose to take a self-directed assessment do have the ability to receive one-on-one guidance from an academic coach. Every successful completion of a self-directed assessment is posted as a test-out (TO) on the student’s transcript.

How self-directed assessments can help your employees

Your employees likely already have a solid understanding of a great variety of material through their own work and life experience. Self-directed assessments provide them an opportunity to earn credit for what they’ve already integrated into their professional life, allowing them to more quickly advance to the coursework they’re eager to learn.

Going back to school is always a challenging prospect for working adults. There’s already a lot on their plates—so being forced to spend additional time covering course material they may already have a solid grasp on is obviously not ideal. Having the self-directed assessment option to test out of courses can provide a great boost of confidence and momentum for employees who are motivated to advance their skills and technical knowledge.

Available in many subject areas covering topics at both the beginner and advanced levels, self-directed assessments offer your employees plenty of opportunities to test out of courses throughout their educational program.

Self-directed assessments can help employees save

Because your employees can gain credit for what they already know, self-directed assessments can make it possible for them to lessen their overall course load as they move through their degree program.

Let’s take a look at an example of how that could break down. A student enrolled in Rasmussen University’s Business Management Associate’s degree program can earn up to 49 course credits via successful self-directed assessment attempts—that’s just under 55 percent of the 90-credit program. (It should be noted that not all programs will offer self-directed assessments, and the number of self-directed assessments available will vary by program. See the course catalog for details.)

Rasmussen University students who enroll through a corporate alliance can save on self-directed assessment costs too, as the self-directed assessment fee of $149 per attempt is waived.*

By embracing this approach, your employees can maximize their tuition reimbursement benefits and focus their efforts on developing new skills and competencies.

Learn more about a corporate alliance with Rasmussen University

Self-directed assessments are just one benefit of an educational alliance with Rasmussen University. Learn more today about becoming a Rasmussen University alliance by visiting the Workforce Solutions page.


*Rasmussen University Start Strong Tuition Savings Terms and Conditions
- Students who enroll through the Corporate Channel are eligible for a $149 grant toward each unique self-directed assessment attempt within their degree program.
- Student must maintain continuous enrollment to remain eligible. A student who withdraws and re-enrolls later will not be eligible for the grant.
- All self-directed assessment requirements and restrictions specified in the Rasmussen University Catalog and Enrollment Agreement apply.
- Students must meet entrance requirements for the academic program in which they are enrolling.
- Students must attempt a minimum of six faculty-led credits per quarter in order to gain access to the self-directed assessment options.
- Grant recipients who also qualify for other grants and scholarships such as Military, Corporate Alliance, or Change a Life may use both.
- Grant is awarded quarterly, with no expiration date. (Once a self-directed assessment is accessed, students have 45 days to complete each assessment.)
- Grant is non-transferrable, and no substitution or cash equivalent/refund is allowed.
- Credits earned through self-directed assessment offerings will likely not transfer to another institution; acceptance of transfer credit is always at the discretion of the receiving institution.