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Aurora Institute

DC Panel on Competency Education in Higher Education

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Chris Sturgis

Issue(s): Federal Policy, Modernize HEA

The interest for competency education is growing in higher education as well as K-12.  For those of you in the DC area you might want to check out the Center for American Progress discussion June 7, 2012, 10:30am – 12:30pm (you’ll need to rsvp – admission free – and get there early ). If anyone attends, we’d love to hear the highlights of the conversation.

Here is the info from CAP.

Competency Based Education
College Strategies for the Success of 21st Century Students

Opening Remarks:Eduardo Ochoa, Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education, U.S. Deptartment of Education (pictured)

Featured presentation: Rebecca Klein-Collins, Research Director, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning

Featured panelists:

  • Amy Laitinen, Senior Policy Analyst, Education Sector
  • Mary Lee Pollard, Dean of Nursing, Excelsior College
  • Ralph Wolff, President, Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Moderated by: Stephen Steigleder, Policy Analyst, Center for American Progress

The rise of 21st century learners who are highly mobile and who have gained knowledge and skills from multiple institutions and practical experiences is highlighting the value of a form of learning and credentialing called competency-based education. In many cases, higher education institutions design programs around competencies as a way to ensure quality and to communicate what their graduates are expected to know. In these programs, students can progress toward a degree by demonstrating required competencies, regardless of how they acquire their knowledge and skills.

Competency-based education is taking many forms, from entire institutions based on measuring competencies after learning experiences to digital badges and emerging software tools for measuring discrete skills. Policymakers must wrestle with complex issues as this form of education moves into the mainstream of higher education. What is the standard for learning outcomes? What assessments validate learning? How should education be paid for if competency measurements allow for non time-based education?

Coffee will be served at 10:00 a.m.

Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005