NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED569210
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Apr
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Competency-Based Education. Innovations in Teaching and Learning. Research Brief 1
Katz, Philip M.
Council of Independent Colleges
Competency-based education (CBE) is an approach to pedagogy that emphasizes the mastery of skills and concepts rather than credit hours or seat time. The assessment of mastery can take several forms, including formal assessments of prior learning (such as portfolio reviews or examinations) and automated evaluations of online coursework. Advocates of this approach argue that CBE can reduce the time and cost of earning a traditional college degree while providing students with specific workforce skills that are valued by students, funders, and employers. Independent colleges and universities have been more reluctant to explore CBE than public institutions or for-profit education providers. Some independent institutions, however, have successfully adopted elements of CBE for undergraduate and graduate education. CBE may help address two important concerns about the future of independent higher education: maintaining high standards for student learning and containing student costs. But CBE also represents a challenge to assumptions about curricula based on credit hours, sustained student-teacher interactions, and the residential experience. [This brief was prepared by the CIC Project on the Future of Independent Higher Education.]
Council of Independent Colleges. 1 Dupont Circle NW Suite 320, Washington DC 20036-1142. Tel: 202-466-7230; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Lumina Foundation for Education; Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America - College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF)
Authoring Institution: Council of Independent Colleges
Identifiers - Location: Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; Oregon; Wisconsin; Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A