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The competency-based education (CBE) approach allows students to advance based on their ability to master a skill or competency at their own pace regardless of environment. This method is tailored to meet different learning abilities and can lead to more efficient student outcomes.
Articles, Papers, Portals and Reports
Competency-Based Education Programs versus Traditional Data Management, EDUCAUSE Review Online, May 19, 2014. This article discusses Initial results from a study of colleges implementing CBE, highlighting timing challenges and emerging practices that can help ensure CBE program success.
7 Things You Should Know About Competency-Based Education, ELI 7 Things You Should Know. February 2014. Competency-based education (CBE) awards academic credit based on mastery of clearly defined competencies. CBE replaces the conventional model in which time is fixed and learning is variable with a model in which the time is variable and the learning is fixed.
Meeting Students Where They Are: Profiles of Students in Competency-Based Degree Programs, Center for American Progress, November 2013. This reports discusses students participating in a competency-based education program that tracks their progress by measuring the knowledge and skills they have acquired. This report outlines the positive qualities of competency-based learning and identifies commonalities among student experiences that can inform the policy priorities for those looking to expand and reform postsecondary educational offerings.
All Hands On Deck: Ten Lessons Learned From Early Adopters of Competency-Based Education, WCET. May 2014. This white paper was commissioned for WCET's summit on Designing Alternative Pathways to Credentials (May 2014). The paper provides a snapshot of seven competency-based postsecondary programs, includes valuable lessons learned, and important questions for further exploration.
- EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Fall Focus Session on personalized/adaptive learning Oct 28 - 29, 2014
- EDUCAUSE Annual Conference - September 30-October 2, 2014
- CAEL Convening - September 8-9, 2014
- BMI Convening of Cohort 2 - July 22-25, 2014
- CBEN Quarterly Convening - July 21-22, 2014
- WCET's summit on Designing Alternative Pathways to Credentials (May 2014).
- Competency-Based Learning or Personalized Learning. This U.S. Department of Education topic page includes links to various states and districts putting CBL programs into action.
- Principles for Developing Competency-Based Education Programs. Change Magazine, April/March 2014. Sally M. Johnstone and Louis Soares
- The Degree Qualifications Profile, Lumina
- Mean What You Say: Defining and Integrating Personalized,Blended and Competency Education, iNACOL, October 2013
Schools and Programs
College for America, NGLC Grantee. Focused on “unconfident learners”—those who are familiar with educational failures, unsure of their abilities, or balancing the demands of work and family—the College for America program of Southern New Hampshire University is a self-paced online associate’s degree program with no courses, no credit hours, no traditional faculty, and no grades, offered at a low student cost. The program encourages mentors in the workplace or the local community; uses a set of key competencies defined, in part, by employers; and connects each student to a coach who helps chart their path through the competencies.
Kentucky Community and Technical College System, NGLC Grantee. The Kentucky Community and Technical College System is transforming an existing online program by using linear, competency-based course modules to increase student success, degree completion, and affordability. Students move swiftly and sequentially from one course module to the next without breaks between semesters in the Direct2Degree program.
The Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Program, NGLC Grantee. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), South Texas College, Texas A&M University–Commerce, and the College for All Texans Foundation are launching this new bachelor of applied science (BAS) degree program in fall 2013. The program uses a competency-based, year-round model with flat-rate tuition such that students can work through as many courses within a seven-week period as their schedules allow. Students advance based on showing competency in the subject area rather than hours in class.
NAU Personalized Learning. Northern Arizona University received accreditation approval to enroll students for degrees in computer information technology, liberal arts, and small business administration that will include a flat fee of $2,500 for each six months of unlimited credits and self-paced learning. There are no semesters in the open-entry, competency-based learning program.
Library Items on this Topic
EDUCAUSE Library Items for Competency-based Education (CBE)
- Competency-based Education (CBE)
Competency-based Education (CBE) True The competency-ba…
- 7 Things You Should Know About CBE Tools
July 10, 2014
As competency-based education (CBE) programs become more prevalent, tools have emerged to support them, ranging from software utilities that enable a single type of student project to complex, cu…
- From Badges to Breakthroughs: Unleashing Learner Potential through Competency-Based Achievements
June 2, 2014
Key Takeaways Extending low-cost, quality educational opportunities was the focus of the recent "Badges to Breakthroughs" panel session at EDUCAUSE 2013. Here, s…
- Next Gen Tools: Faculty Engagement
May 8, 2014
This innovation brief from Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) focuses on the collaborative, faculty-driven process established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Texas A&…
- Competency-Based Education Programs versus Traditional Data Management
May 19, 2014
Key Takeaways Competency-based education programs challenge traditional data management approaches across the academic institution because they defy conventional notions of time …
- Two K-12 Grantees Recently Featured on Getting Smart blog
March 13, 2014
At first glance, Piedmont City Schools in rural Alabama and New York City’s Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School may not appear to have much in common. The former is a rural district working to b…
- Next Gen Tools: CfA Learning Environment
March 4, 2014
This innovation brief from Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) focuses on the learning environment that College for America has created for its direct assessment, competency-based educat…
- Purposefully Repurposed: College for America Converts a CRM Tool Into a Learner-Centered LMS
March 5, 2014
Readers of NGLC’s blog are no strangers to Southern New Hampshire University’s College for America (CfA), the remarkably innovative competency-based degree program supported by NGLC that, in …
- Trending Now: Recent News in the Postsecondary World of Next Generation Learning
February 27, 2014
In January’s “Trending Now: Postsecondary” post, Kristen Vogt called attention to a Center for American Progress (CAP) report that pointed to competency-based credentials as a way to …
- 7 Things You Should Know About Competency-Based Education
February 11, 2014
Competency-based education (CBE) awards academic credit based on mastery of clearly defined competencies . CBE replaces the conventional model in which time is fixed and learning is variab…