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Aurora Institute

What’s New in Competency-Based Higher Ed?

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Natalie Slocum

Issue(s): Issues in Practice, Learn Lessons from the Field

CompetencyWorks Higher Ed

Survey Findings: A student satisfaction survey commissioned by the Bill & Melissa Gates Foundation regarding College for America at Southern New Hampshire University found that 99% would recommend the school and 100% said it had good or very good value. See survey here.

CFAT Paper Analyses: Johann Neem of Inside Higher Ed provides another insightful and detailed critique to the CFAT report. Paul Fain’s article, Sticking with the Credit Hour, also criticizes the CFAT report for falling short, insisting that the foundation should have worked harder to move beyond the credit hour standard.

CBE Continues to Grow in Higher Ed


  • The American Council on Education and Blackboard released The Currency of Higher Education: Credits and Competencies, written by Deborah Seymour, Deborah Everhart, and Karen Yoshino, which explores outcomes-based innovations in post-secondary competency education.
  • The American Council on Education released a research report titled Credit for Prior Learning: Charting Institutional Practice for Sustainability. Written by Mary Beth Lakin, Christopher J. Nellum, Deborah Seymour, and Jennifer R. Crandall, this report addresses cultural barriers and successful strategies of Credit for Prior Learning (CPL).
  • Community College Online, a new report written by Rachel Fishman, provides federal and state policy recommendations that would speed up time to degree completion for community college students by combining face-to-face instruction, hybrid and fully online courses, and competency education. Read more about this report in the Making Them Pay article.
  • Eduventures released a series of reports on competency-based education over the past several weeks, which discuss perspectives, size, key demand drivers, and a comprehensive landscape of players and partners impacting future growth. Click here for the executive summary.