1st Edition

A Leader's Guide to Competency-Based Education From Inception to Implementation

    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    As interest in competency-based education (CBE) continues to grow by leaps and bounds, the need for a practical resource to guide development of high-quality CBE programs led the authors to write this book. Until now, there has been no how-to manual that captures in one place a big picture view of CBE along with the down-to-earth means for building a CBE program.A variety of pressures are driving the growth in CBE, including the need for alternatives to the current model of higher education (with its dismal completion rates); the potential to better manage the iron triangle of costs, access, and quality; the need for graduates to be better prepared for the workforce; and the demands of adult learners for programs with the flexible time and personalized learning that CBE offers.Designed to help institutional leaders become more competent in designing, building, and scaling high-quality competency-based education (CBE) programs, this book provides context, guidelines, and process. The process is based on ten design elements that emerged from research funded by the Gates Foundation, and sponsored by AAC&U, ACE, EDUCAUSE, and the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN), with thought partners CAEL and Quality Matters. In short, the book will serve administrators, higher education leaders, faculty, staff, and others who have an interest in CBE by:• Giving context to enable the audience to discover the importance of each design element and to help frame the CBE program (the “why”);• Providing models, checklists, and considerations to determine the “what” component for each design element;• Sharing outlines and templates for the design elements to enable institutions to build quality, relevant, and rigorous CBE programs (the “how”).

    Foreword by Amy Laitinen Introduction1. Institutional Culture 2. Program Design 3. Assessment Essentials and Strategies 4. The Learning Journey 5. Faculty and Staff Models and Considerations 6. Business Models, Processes, and Systems 7. Approval Considerations 8. Conclusion and Next Steps References About the Authors Index


    Laurie Dodge is the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Assessment & Planning and Vice Provost at Brandman University and also serves as the Founding President of the Board of Directors of the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN). She has worked in higher education for over 20 years as a faculty member, interim dean, and assessment director. In 2016, she was named one of the “The Sixteen Most Innovative People in Higher Education” by Washington Monthly. Deborah J. Bushway currently serves as the Provost at Northwest Health Sciences University and as an educational consultant. She has served in a variety of roles prior to this, including Senior Advisor in the Office of the Undersecretary at the Department of Education in Washington, DC., interim associate Dean at the University of Wisconsin – Extension, and the Chief Academic Officer and Vice President of Academic Innovation at Capella University. Charla S. Long is the Executive Director for the Competency-Based Education Network, a national consortium of higher education institutions and statewide systems seeking to design, develop, and scale new models of student learning. Additionally, she leads a consulting firm dedicated to helping institutions with competency-based learning. During 2015, she served as a consultant to Public Agenda on two significant CBE national landscape and field-building projects, funded by both the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Lumina Foundation. In this role, she provided insights, tools, and support to individuals and institutions seeking to advance competency-based education in the United States. These tools included the CBE Ecosystem Framework, the Shared Design Elements and Emerging Practices Model and Research Report, and the CBExchange conference where hundreds of institutions learned how to build high-quality CBE programs. Prior to this, Long was the founding dean of the College of Professional Studies at Lipscomb University and the creator of their national

    "More than a community of practice, the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) has functioned as an ongoing action-based research project to progressively and reflectively study the problems of developing competency-based education within current educational structures and advancing practical and effective solutions for its community. The authors of this book, hands-on leaders of the C-BEN network from the start, are sharing these lessons learned within a practical framework for application in a realistic, current-day context. This book is a go-to resource for those charged with developing or advancing a successful CBE program at their institution."

    Deb Adair, Executive Director of Quality Matters

    "A Leader's Guide is the first book of its kind to offer institutional and program leaders the type of clear, practical advice needed to design, implement, and sustain a competency-based education program in today's higher education environment. The authors address some of the most pressing questions we hear from practitioners on an almost daily basis, including how to best structure the student learning journey, leverage the expertise of faculty and learning support staff, and navigate an often complex regulatory and accreditation environment. It's a must read for new and experienced CBE educators alike."

    Kelle Parsons and Matthew Soldner

    American Institutes for Research

    "Thank you Deb Bushway, Laurie Dodge, and Charla Long! A Leader’s Guide to Competency-Based Education is a much needed resource for any college or university seeking to understand competency-based education. A fully developed competency-based program offers so much more than just flexible pacing or possible reduced costs. It offers to make a credential meaningful and fully prepare our workforce for the demands of today’s economy. With this book in hand, higher education leaders will get the guidance they need to get started on creating a competency-based program that will work for their institution, students and industry partners."

    Chris Sturgis, Co-Founder CompetencyWorks & Principal


    “Recognizing the growing interest in competency-based education (CBE) in U.S. higher education, but also the lack of shared standards or practices around it, three experts produced this guide for other educators who are contemplating a move to (or revision of) this type of instructional program. The authors help those who are enthusiastic about CBE avoid pitfalls by offering practical guidance….The book’s best feature…is its soup-to-nuts review of issues that educators must consider when designing competency-based education. Chapters address institutional culture, program design, assessment strategies, staffing and business models, and approval seeking. Readers come away fully aware that CBE is not just a different teaching approach but a potentially radical disruption to education delivery.”

    Reflective Teaching