Reviews the development of competency-based education, outlines current challenges and emerging models of competency-based education in higher education systems.
“Competency-based postsecondary degree programs—programs that focus sharply on what students know and can do—are on the rise. These programs do not assume that successful completion of a series of courses results in the achievement of learning outcomes; rather, they confirm student learning through individual assessment” (p.4). “This paper defines unifying concepts shared by different competency-based education programs, describes current competency-based models using the direct assessment approach, and examines the national policy context that could determine the extent to which these programs are able to go to scale. The author argues that competency-based education provides an opportunity to rethink what a college degree means for student learning while addressing concerns regarding higher education’s quality and cost” (p.3).