Competency-based learning lasts a lifetime

What if we stopped asking students to memorize abstract concepts?

Instead, what if we put them on individual learning paths that supported them throughout their careers?

With competency-based education (CBE), that’s totally possible: in a CBE classroom, students are assessed on goal mastery, rather than pass-or-fail grading systems. They’re not expected to memorize facts and figures from a textbook. Instead, they master real-world concepts that apply to real-world careers.

And, they can work at their own pace: when there’s no such thing as failure, students can work on concept-mastery for as long as they need to before moving on to the next one. This model ensures that CBE is more affordable and more flexible than traditional education models, as each student builds their own individual learning path.

Are students prepared for the workforce?

Provosts say yes
Employers say yes

Competency-based education supports a changing workforce

For the better part of the last century, young learners were expected to graduate college fully prepared for the workforce. Those who earned college degrees were perceived as educated, savvy, and quick on their feet. And it was just a given that they would be as successful in their careers as they had been in their education.

But that’s just not the case anymore: Recent studies show that while 96% of provosts believe their institution effectively prepares students to make that transition, employers mostly disagree. Only 11% say recent college graduates are effective workplace contributors.

When you consider how much the workforce has changed in the last 50 years, that’s really not a huge surprise. Today’s jobs require more than 924 unique skill sets to meet demand, compared to just 178 in 2009—and the education system has simply not adjusted.

CBE rethinks assessment models

In traditional education models, students are measured on a 100-point scale, which has been found to be imprecise. University of Kentucky professor, T.R. Guskey discovered that 100-point scales are more likely to be misclassified, because the difference between an 85 and a 95 is so subjective.

By contrast, students engaged in competency-based learning are only classified by two choices: Mastered, and Not Yet. With just two options, there’s far less room for subjectivity, and the assessment of a student’s competency mastery is more likely to be fair and accurate.


  • Educator
    • Feedback
    • Objectives
      • Resources
      • Students


  • Student
    • Educator
    • Competency Learning Objectives
      • Community
      • Resources
      • Mastery
      • Feedback

CBE is the future of education

One of the best aspects of CBE is that it works in a variety of settings, including online instruction, blended classes, project-based curriculum, or even community-based learning.

Because it’s so flexible, a number of institutions (more than 600 in 2016), from K-12 through higher ed, corporate trainers, and even coaches and mentors, are adopting it as their 21st century curriculum strategy.

It bridges the gap between school and the workplace, and more educators are using it to restructure their curriculum in a way that helps better prepare students for their future—and a lifetime of learning.


CBE Institutions in 2016, a 1200% increase from 2015


Deliver personalized learning at scale. Request a demo today.

Request Demo