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Aurora Institute

What’s New in Competency-Based Higher Education?

CompetencyWorks Blog

Author(s): Natalie Slocum

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

Call for Chapters Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 7.22.41 AM

  • Innovation Institute has announced a Call for Chapters for a research handbook titled, Competency-Based Education in Higher Education. Proposals are due May 8, 2015.

Pushing the Field

  • Jan Yoskiwara writes about how competency-based education can move students further and faster through higher education systems, which is vital to create new opportunities and meet student and workforce needs. Read more.
  • The first post in Thomas Carey’s series, titled Collaboration, not Commoditization, discusses faculty emotional ownership in innovative teaching communities as a means to reduce obstacles to scaling teacher best practices.
  • In the second post, Thomas Carey followed up his thoughts in the article Innovative Knowledge-Practice Networks, which focuses on emerging developments in course-related collaborations, using a repository of shared course resources.


  • Michael Horn and Paul Freedman coauthored Ellucian’s Acquisition and the New LMS Wars, which announced that Ellucian acquired Helix Education’s Learning Management System, one of the only LMS’s designed to specifically support competency education.
  • Political support is building to encourage and oversee higher education upstarts that don’t look or act like colleges, such as online course providers and coding boot camps. Read more from Paul Fain.
  • The U.S. Department of Education granted federal aid eligibility to two new direct assessment programs (Walden University and the Texas State College System), bringing the total to six institutions that are now approved for to implement direct assessment. Read more.
  • Julian L. Alssid, Chief Workforce Strategist at College for America, wrote Sparks Fly: Competency-Based Education Catches, which describes new successes and the current status of competency-based higher education.


For more new and updates in competency-based higher education, follow @CompetencyWorks on twitter.