Last June, I had the chance to co-present on competency-based education (CBE) with Charla Long, dean of Lipscomb University. Lipscomb is nationally recognized for its pioneering work in competency-based higher education, and Charla has been the star of that work. In our presentation, we each shared about the opportunities and challenges that we have faced building and running competency-based programs – her in higher education and me in K-12.
Charla and I did not talk about our presentation with each other beforehand. So, we were both amazed when almost 50 similarities emerged between her experience and my own.
Here are just 10 of the nearly 50 ways that we found our CBE experiences in K-12 and higher education to be the same:
- We find that CBE permits us to focus on student learning and outcomes and operate from the belief that CBE is the best way to equip students with the skills they need personally and professionally.
- We find that the CBE experience works best when it is customized and personalized around student needs, interests and future plans.
- We have seen key technologies (like blended and online learning programs) help actualize and enhance CBE, but we do think that CBE can exist without these technologies.
- We have come to believe that CBE is a better way to organize schooling and learning and that it addresses both “excellence” and “equity” issues, in part by providing a quality education to all students, even those who struggle in traditional schools. (more…)