8 key considerations for competency-based education

1. Institutional readiness: Is your institution prepared and willing to take on CBE? Consider who should be involved in the planning from a leadership and academic perspective, participating on the steering committee, leading the change management, assessing risk, and managing the details and timing.

2. Model definition and selection: How will you define your approach to CBE? Various competency-based education models exist, but it’s up to the institution to define policies pertaining to credit hours, transfers, provisions for prior learning assessments, course requirements, course loads, pricing, and more.

3. Programs and curriculum: What is your academic strategy? Based on student demand and core competencies, you’ll want to assess whether or not to repurpose existing content and programs, or innovate from the ground up. You’ll also want to consider credit or non-credit qualifications, degree attainment levels, measurable competencies, and an overall assessment strategy.

4. Financial aid: Will you offer Title IV funding? With so many students today receiving financial aid, consider whether or not your team has the expertise, time and resources to support and process Title IV for both CBE and traditional programs.

5. Service model: What role will your faculty and administration have in serving CBE students? With the role of faculty evolving in a competency-based education model, explore opportunities for instructors to lead and/or support curriculum and assessment design, advising and retention strategies, and content mentoring. Additionally, consider where and how to divide the workload for your student services and financial aid teams when it comes to adequately preparing students from administrative, funding and academic perspectives.

6. Policy: How will  your rules need to change to accommodate a CBE model? Consider how you regulate admissions, academic requirements, student finance and student services, and assess whether or not the same policies can be applied to CBE and traditional programs.

7. Technology: How will your LMS integrate with your other platforms? Enabling your systems (LMS, SIS, FAM and CRM) to talk to each other will help you seamlessly manage important student information, including data and analytics necessary for federal reporting requirements.

8. Accreditation: How will you approach accreditation and other necessary approvals? Given this new approach to measuring a student’s success through demonstrated competencies, make sure you have thought through, and sought expert counsel, when it comes to accreditation policies, state and programmatic approvals, and other US Department of Education requirements.

For more information on the CBE process, as well as other considerations, visit Helix Education’s post.