National survey, fall conference and online resources will give educators and policymakers unprecedented levels of collaboration and information.
Several nonprofit and higher education organizations are collaborating to create new resources and opportunities in response to growing interest in competency-based education (CBE).
This work includes the largest survey to date of institutions developing CBE programs and a national conference this fall to listen to the challenges and barriers faced by institutions and to help them learn more about what it takes to design high-quality programs that are competency-based.
The multi-pronged effort is led by Public Agenda, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and public engagement organization, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Lumina Foundation. The effort responds to calls from institutions of higher education and policymakers for more resources and support to help guide the planning and development of high-quality competency-based degrees, certificates and other postsecondary credentials.
The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU) is the Sponsoring Organization of Integrative Liberal Learning. The American Council on Education (ACE), the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) and EDUCAUSE are sponsors. The thought partners are the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and Quality Matters.
In addition to the survey and conference, the organizations are researching models, trends and gaps in knowledge around CBE, and will organize the findings into a publicly available online source of information. For institutions that want to adopt CBE programs, the group is creating a set of research-based design elements of CBE programs and an online tool to help institutions build programs around those elements.
(Next page: Research initiatives and how to participate in the survey)