Competent At What?

Career College Central summary:

  • Competency-based education appears to be higher education’s "next big thing." Yet many academics aren’t sure what it is. And that goes double for lawmakers and journalists. A new group is stepping in to try to clear up some of the confusion. The nascent Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) will include up to 20 institutions that offer competency-based degrees or are well on their way to creating them.
  • The Lumina Foundation is funding the three-year effort. Public Agenda, a nonprofit research organization, is coordinating the work. The group’s overarching goals are to share intelligence and discuss "best practices" on competency-based education, while also influencing the national conversation, according to the invitation for applications, which are due at the end of next month.
  • The reason for the project’s creation, said several officials who are working on it, is a growing need for shared guiding principles. Interest in online education is high, and many college leaders want competency-based education to avoid the hype, misconceptions and resulting backlash massive open online courses have received.

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