October 2016

Market Notes

Competency-based education (CBE) awards academic credit based on student mastery of clearly defined competencies. In contrast, traditional education and teaching methodologies structure around seat time and credit hour. With CBE, learners take as much or as little time as they need to understand the material. Competency-based programs recognize prior learning and learning outside the scope of a course, regardless of where, when, or how that learning took place. CBE shifts the definition of success from grades to mastery, emphasizing frequent, meaningful feedback that empowers students to take increased responsibility for their learning path.

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The Top 10 Success Criteria for CBE

By Dr. Kurt R. Linberg, PhD

As a consultant, I have the opportunity to influence the strategic initiatives for universities and colleges considering CBE for their courses and degree programs. It is imperative for university leaders to have an understanding of the challenges and opportunities with CBE so they set realistic expectations in their strategic plans. Based on research, and my own experiences with successful CBE programs at Western Governors University and Capella University, I have developed the following top 10 success criteria for CBE.


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