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COMPETENCY-BASED EDUCATION PUBLICATIONS

PUBLICATIONS

Giving CBE a Jumpstart: Stories of Institutional Progress on CBE from the Jumpstart Initiative

This report examines the CBE efforts of the 21 Jumpstart participants and their varied journeys in developing CBE programs: the unique decisions they have made around their developing programs; the challenges that have delayed some programs or prevented others from moving to implementation; and lessons from these stories that may prove useful for other colleges, universities, and systems looking to take their own dive into CBE.

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PLA and CBE on the Competency Continuum

There is no single “right way” to do CBE, but there are two different ways to approach it, as defined by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions.

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Competency-Based Degree Programs in the U.S.: Postsecondary Credentials for Measurable Student Learning and Performance

This paper examines the current state of competency-based postsecondary education in the U.S., profiling the various types of competency-based, or competency-focused, models that currently exist, the extent to which these programs assess for student competen-cies or learning outcomes, and the extent to which these programs operate outside of a credit-based system. These programs can help inform other institutions interested in develop-ing a stronger focus on competencies, whether by demonstrating the possibilities of high-quality programs or by facilitating the recognition of learning acquired outside of traditional instruction.

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Meeting Students Where They Are: Profiles of Students in Competency-Based Degree Programs

This report catalogues stories of average Americans—some who went to college directly after high school, some who are returning to postsecondary education after many years in the workforce, and others who are pursuing graduate studies. All of these students have one thing in common: They are participating in a competency-based education program that tracks their progress by measuring the knowledge and skills they have acquired. This report demonstrates 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.

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Faculty and Administrator Views on Competency-Based Education

Today’s competency-based education (CBE) programs offer students a unique post-secondary experience that focuses more on student learning and less on whether or how long a student has spent time in a classroom.

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Assessment’s New Role in Degree Completion: A Registrar’s Primer on Prior Learning Assessment and Competency-Based Education

This 23-page publication provides an introduction to prior learning assessment (PLA) and competency-based education (CBE), and explores what registrars should consider in their roles supporting institutional adoption of these assessment-focused programs and services.

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Sharpening Our Focus on Learning: The Rise of Competency-Based Approaches to Degree Completion.

Competency-based postsecondary degree programs—programs that focus sharply on what students know and can do—are on the rise. These programs do not assume that successful completion of a series of courses results in the achievement of learning outcomes; rather, they confirm student learning through individual assessment.

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CASE STUDIES

Competency-Based Education at Peirce College: Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

In keeping with their mission to educate adult learners through flexible and affordable programs, Peirce College recently converted an existing Bachelor of Science in information technology degree to a non-traditional, competency-based format designed specifically for working adults. The program successfully launched with its first enrolled class in September 2016.

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Competency-Based K–5 Science and Mathematics Teaching Endorsements at Valdosta State University

In the spring semester of 2016, Valdosta State University launched a CBE program aimed at providing local K–12 teachers with science and math teaching endorsements. A model for collaboration, the self-paced program was developed with support from the Georgia Department of Education and input from two local school districts.

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Competency-Based Master of Business Administration at Davenport University

Developed over the course of a year by a core team of business school faculty and staff, the program is designed around the mastery of 12 professional competencies and one personal development competency through the completion of proficiency modules. These modules, designed to develop and assess particular skills and knowledge associated with an individual competency, are built around a standard 3-phase process: pre-assessment of existing knowledge, formation of needed knowledge and skills, and final assessment demonstrating competency.

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Lord Fairfax Community College: Knowledge to Work

In October 2014, with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor, Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) began work to develop a far reaching“Knowledge to Work” (K2W) initiative to establish new competency-based degree programs. LFCC began offering these new competency-based education (CBE) programs in fall 2015, including Associate of Applied Science degrees in health information management and information systems technology; a certificate in office systems assistant; and career studies certificates in hospital facility coding, information processing technician, cyber security, and networking specialist.

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Salt Lake City Community College: Competency-Based Education in the School of Applied Technology

This publication is part of CAEL’s ongoing series of case studies on competency-based education (CBE) programs in the U.S. The new case study is of Salt Lake Community College’s ambitious CE initiative, which launched with 10 active programs in 2015 and many more under development.

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Customized, Outcome-based, Relevant Evaluation (CORE) at Lipscomb University

This is the first of what will be a series of case studies of competency-based degree programs that have been emerging in recent years. The case studies are prepared by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) with funding from Lumina Foundation.

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Competency-Based Bachelor of Business Administration at Brandman University

In October 2014, Brandman University launched a competency-based direct assessment program. Brandman University is a private, adult-focused, non-profit institution based in California. The competency-based Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) is a low-cost and flexible alternative for adult and nontraditional students.

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City of Seattle (CityU): Performance-Based Degree Model 

This case study is part of a series on newer competency-based degree programs that have been emerging in recent years. The case studies are prepared by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) with funding from Lumina Foundation.

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Texas Affordable Baccalaureate Program

A Collaboration between the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, South Texas College, and Texas A&M University-Commerce.

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ARTICLES

Competency-Based Education: A Powerful Way to Link Learning and the Workplace

In order for competency-based programs to meet and exceed expectations, colleges and universities must forge closer bonds with employers and hiring managers to ensure the programing is actually serving a demand.

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You Have to Start Somewhere

Among the most common questions I hear when I am working with institutions on competency-based education (CBE) is where to start? Also, does it have to be a full program?

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Exploring the CBE Landscape

One of the frustrations of those who are considering moving toward a competency-based model is the lack of data available about existing programs, including who is in the space, what challenges they faced or are facing still, and what the programs look like.

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Competency-Based Technology Solutions

Help is on the way for institutions that are looking for answers to technology challenges as they consider competency-based education (CBE) programs. A frustration for many early adopters has been the inability of their current technologies to adapt to a CBE environment.

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Does Your CBE Program Look Like This?

The picture is starting to become clearer with regard to the elements that make up a successful competency-based education (CBE) program.

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Where is Help Needed Most with CBE?

With hundreds of institutions interested in learning more about competency-based education (CBE), we at the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) were not surprised to have forty-one applicants for just seven slots in the third round of our CBE Jumpstart program, funded by the Lumina Foundation.

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