Provides the first analysis of competency-based information technology programs in a consortium of three community colleges.
In 2012, The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration awarded a  consortium led by Sinclair Community College (SCC) a grant for a three-year project titled “Adapting and Adopting Competency-Based IT Instruction to Accelerate Learning for [Trade Adjustment Assistance] TAA-Eligible, Veterans, and Other Adult Learners” as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grants program.  “This report, which provides the first analysis of program implementation by the consortium colleges, serves three primary purposes: (1) to document, at or near baseline, the program model that each of the participating colleges is implementing; (2) to report to the consortium and to DOL on the first year of program implementation under the grant; and (3) to inform potential replication by describing for external audiences how CBE models can be designed and launched in different institutional contexts” (p.1).  The report features an overview of program implementations for each of the community college programs, including staffing, curriculum development, student support services, and organizational procedures and policy context.  The authors conclude with an integrative analysis, including lessons learned. (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff

Major Findings & Recommendations

The authors note that “it is too early to provide a definitive assessment of best practices in [competency-based education] CBE since, at this writing, the consortium colleges have been offering their grant-funded programs for just a few months” (p.46). However, they share some lessons and challenges observed thus far: • “Accelerated, competency-based education models are not for all students” (p.46). • “CBE programs require changes to community college institutional culture” (p.46). • “Faculty are central to the success of CBE models and may be key to sustainability” (p.47). • “Expanding enrollment may require decreased program intensity” (p.47). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)