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CBE Publication

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 competencies 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 developing a stronger focus on competencies, whether by demonstrating the possibilities of high-quality programs or by facilitating the recogni-tion of learning acquired outside of traditional instruction.

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