Postsecondary Competency-Based Education

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Older African American graduate in cap and gown

Postsecondary competency-based education (CBE) is receiving considerable attention from advocates, colleges, and policymakers as a method for helping more students complete high-quality postsecondary credentials in less time and at a lower cost.

CBE provides structured learning opportunities that are designed by postsecondary institutions and lead to recognized educational credentials. They are created by backward design from a disciplinary perspective on what a credential holder should know and be able to do and are assessed authentically. Examples include Direct Assessment programs and non-Direct Assessment CBE programs. CBE has the potential to provide access to economic opportunity, through a postsecondary credential, for more learners.

Despite CBE’s growing popularity in postsecondary education, additional research still is needed to address unanswered questions and ultimately inform the actions taken by policymakers, practitioners, and students.

What We Do

Our work includes the following:


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National Research Collaborative

The National Research Collaborative on Postsecondary Competency-Based Education is a community of researchers dedicated to building evidence about postsecondary competency-based education and learning.
 



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National Survey of Postsecondary Competency-Based Education

The National Survey of Postsecondary Competency-Based Education surveys postsecondary institutions in the United States to better understand both adoption of CBE and perceptions of CBE.
 



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CBE Student Outcomes Research and Capacity Building

AIR’s postsecondary CBE research is aimed at studying CBE’s efficacy and providing tools to program leaders and researchers to support research, evaluation, and continuous improvement efforts.
 

Related Work

Contact
Kelle Parsons
Senior Researcher
Jessica Mason
Senior Researcher
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