Competency-based education programs are on the rise. As the higher education landscape continues to shift, it is important for colleges and universities to stay on the leading edge of innovative course delivery models.
To that end, Collegis Education is scheduled to host a webinar on March 16 that addresses crucial questions academic and administrative leaders need to answer before building their CBE playbook. Dave Lungren, assistant vice president of content solutions at Collegis, will be on hand to discuss everything from different types of CBE models to how to navigate the financial aid implications of each program.
We sat down with Dave to discuss what to expect, who should attend and why he thinks CBE is critical to the future of academic innovation.
Collegis: Tell us a little about your experience bringing CBE programs to life.
Progress through the academic program is measured by what the student has learned, not the time the student has spent in the seat, as is the case in a traditional program based on the credit hour.
Dave Lungren: I’ve spent more than a decade working with higher education institutions to deliver online courses to students. Our team has built thousands of traditional, faculty-led online courses — which has led me to focus on the future and new delivery models of teaching and learning.
Competency-based education provides a flexible, effective and efficient learning model because progress through the academic program is measured by what the student has learned, not the time the student has spent in the seat, as is the case in a traditional program based on the credit hour. This fundamental difference of CBE is a fascinating challenge as it really changes the way in which you deliver coursework and build an online learning platform.
Collegis: Why do you think CBE is an important innovation in higher education today?
Lungren: For a lot of traditional colleges, this allows them to expand beyond what they are currently doing. The very flexible nature of CBE expands student populations. [Institutions] can reach populations they have been unable to reach before because of limitations of certain student demographics. [CBE programs offer] opportunities for students who are underserved or not well-serviced to have access to degree options.
[Institutions] can reach populations they have been unable to reach before because of limitations of certain student demographics.
There are all kinds of adults out there who have worked across different career fields for years — and they have a number of professional skills they have honed. They may have already mastered the competencies included in a particular CBE program. They can leverage their prior knowledge to the fullest, speed up their time to completion and perhaps save on the overall costs of a degree. That, to me, is the most exciting thing about CBE — what it means to students.
Collegis: What are the preliminary questions you want colleges & universities to consider when they are thinking about launching a CBE program?
Lungren: Well, there are a lot of important considerations, starting with the choice of the academic program for CBE delivery, the particular design of the CBE approach and how that CBE program design impacts financial aid considerations.
You definitely need to think in terms of how it could impact your faculty model … most CBE programs require adjustments to the traditional faculty models. Faculty are playing different roles than they are normally accustomed to — it changes the way your faculty connect and engage with students and institutions.
Student support models will also be impacted. For example, how do you best serve and support students who are working in a largely self-paced or self-directed learning environment?
Collegis: Who should attend the webinar?
Lungren: Academic leaders who are ready to get their feet wet with competency-based programs. Perhaps they have already begun to think about personalization of the learning experience in online courses or the opportunities of prior learning assessment. This webinar will be the natural next step to provide a sense of preparedness to getting their CBE programs off the ground.
Sign up for the webinar “Build Your CBE Playbook: Key Considerations for Launching a Competency-Based Program” today, and join Dave on March 16 at 2 p.m. ET to kick start your CBE program.