Fourteen colleges and universities have been chosen to participate in the Competency Based Education (CBE) Jumpstart program, an initiative that will allow students to earn degrees based on skills and competencies they have learned through experience, rather than just through the completion of credit-hour courses.
“Competency-based education is particularly relevant for adults and nontraditional learners who bring learning from work and life experiences into higher education,” said Philip Coyle, provost at LeTourneau University, Longview, TX, one of the schools named to the program. “With the rising costs of education, students expect education that is flexible enough to meet their needs and provides them skills that are immediately transferable into the workplace.”
The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) is providing on-site training for faculty and staff at each participating institution. CAEL also offers follow-up support through webinars on selected topics and in-depth technical assistance for schools experiencing issues with getting the program going.
“We are in the very beginning stages of planning,” said Larry Frazier, dean of the school of arts at LeTourneau, which is hoping to start the program in fall 2015. “We are just now starting and we must think of how to reframe and shape the degree plans for CBE.”