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Education Literature Alerts: Nov. & Dec. '17 - Competency-based Education

Items of interest from VCC Library

Education Literature Alerts

Recommended Reports

Book, P. A. (2014). All hands on deck: ten lessons from early adopters of competency-based education. Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

"... ten lessons practitioners have learned in the design of competency-based education based on interviews, websites, communications, presentations, and other resources. These include lessons related to administration, faculty and student support, data systems, choice of model, business model, and structure. This brief review led us to pose a number of questions to consider for further discussion." [Abstract excerpt from the author]


Girardi, A., & Crew, R. (2016). Next-generation CBE: designing competency-based education for underprepared college learners. Jobs for the Future.

"... adults who need to boost basic skills in order to succeed in college coursework. This report is the first in a series that will zero in on the critical question of how to adapt CBE in order to expand access and increase success for this large and growing group." [Abstract excerpt from the authors]


Katz, P. M. (2015). Competency-based education. Innovations in teaching and learning. Research Brief 1. Council of Independent Colleges.

"... 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." [Abstract excerpt from the author]


Kelchen, R. (2015). The landscape of competency-based education: enrollments, demographics, and affordability. AEI Series on Competency-Based Higher Education. American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.

"In this paper--the first in a series of papers that will examine competency-based education from a number of perspectives--Kelchen explores the uncharted landscape of CBE providers and presents insight on the definitions, scale, and finances of the enterprise." [Abstract excerpt from the publisher]


Articles of Interest

Fan, J.-Y., Wang, Y. H., Chao, L. F., Jane, S.-W., & Hsu, L.-L. (2015). Performance evaluation of nursing students following competency-based education. Nurse Education Today, 35(1), 97–103.

"Competency-based education is know to improve the match between educational performance and employment opportunities ... This study examined the effects of competency-based education on the learning outcomes of undergraduate nursing students ... Students who received competency-based education had significantly higher academic performance in the medical–surgical nursing course and practicum than did the control group. Required core competencies and metacognitive abilities improved significantly in the competency-based education group as compared to the control group after adjusting for covariates ... Competency-based education is worth implementing and may close the gap between education and the ever-changing work environment. " [Summary excerpt from the authors]

Ford, R., & Meyer, R. (2015). Competency-based education 101. Procedia Manufacturing, 3(Supplement C), 1473–1480.

"... another approach to CBE, one in which students are granted credit as they master new academic content, is now being offered at an increasing number of public and private institutions. At least one factor driving this shift is employer's expectations that even entry-level employees can handle problem-solving tasks within their domain. This requires institutions to define competency models that align with job functions and requires educators to integrate knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSAs) into the learning experiences." [Abstract excerpt from the authors]

Nodine, T., & Johnstone, S. M. (2015). Competency-based education: leadership challenges. Change, 47(4), 61–66.

"The article reports that the competency-based education (CBE) can help the U.S. to meet its graduation goals and address the shortages of skilled workers. The college teachers have reported that developing CBE programs gives opportunities to personalize the educational experience for students and also develop partnerships with local business." [Abstract excerpt from the authors]

Van Noy, M., Metzgar, M., & Jagneaux, S. (2016). Implementing competency-based education: lessons from Raritan Valley Community College’s Workforce Development Project. In S. Andreason (Ed.), Developing Career-Based Training (pp. 18-22). Atlanta: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

"While CBE is a promising national practice with a great deal of current interest, research on its ultimate effectiveness on students’ outcomes is still under way. However, given the early stages of adoption of CBE, careful attention to lessons from early adopters can ensure that ongoing implementation is done in a way that is most likely to yield successful outcomes. This case study documents implementation lessons of a CBE approach in the context of community college workforce programs." [Introduction excerpt from the authors]

Videos (not strictly literature, but interesting nonetheless!)

Paul LeBlanc, Pres. Southern New Hampshire University - Lessons From a Competency-Based Education Experiment | Chronicle of Higher Education -  " ... stopped by The Chronicle's offices recently to talk about his vision of competency-based education and what has surprised him from his college's own experiment."  (10:13)

NEBHE (New England Board of Higher Education) Videos - Understanding Competency-Based Education | Opening panel at NEBHE's 2014 conference on CBE.   "The opening panel at NEBHE’s Oct. 20 conference on competency-based education featured Pamela Tate of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) along with Nick Lee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Holly Morris of Educause; Alison Kadlec of Public Agenda; moderator Paul Fain of Inside Higher Ed; and Amy Laitinen of the New America Foundation. The conference, titled "The Case for Competency-Based Education: A New Age of Teaching and Learning?" was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston." (1:18:18)

Purdue University | Transdisciplinary Studies in Technology & Competency-Based Education at Purdue. "Transdisciplinary Studies in Technology is Purdue University's first-ever competency-based degree program. Learn about the new degree and how Purdue Polytechnic ... is using competency-based education (CBE) to provide graduates with exactly what employers want for the 21st century." (2:41)

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