Lipscomb University

Lipscomb University, a liberal arts college in Nashville, Tennessee, serves 4,500 students and offers undergraduate study, pre-professional programs and accelerated evening and online adult degree programs.

Using the Polaris® Competency Model, a nationally respected and Fortune 500-proven model, Lipscomb University began to articulate the specifics of a competency-based Bachelor of Professional Studies in Organizational Leadership, creating the Competency Assessment and Development Center, CORE (Customized, Outcome-based, Relevant, Evaluation). Lipscomb’s competency-based education program utilizes behavioral and project-based assessments, incorporates a comprehensive badging ecosystem, and features four levels of competence allowing the program to be used in a wide range of settings, including K-12 education, community colleges, military, undergraduate and graduate programs.

Lipscomb’s competency-based education model focuses on employers and their workforce development needs. The program is customizable, allowing for adjustments based on the industry and/or the organizations' needs. The program is organized into a series of stackable digital badges that can be applied for credit, and students engage in competency development with faculty coaches.

Lipscomb’s competency-based Bachelor of Professional Studies is currently offered through the Adult Degree Program, a degree-completion program for nontraditional students. The average age of students in the Adult Degree Program is 35, with more than 50 percent of the student body being made up of women. Increasingly, Lipscomb’s Adult Degree Program is serving international and first generation students.

Lipscomb’s Academic Leadership Team approved the addition of a competency-based Bachelor of Professional Studies in Organizational Leadership in February 2013. The CORE Competency Assessment Center began operations in summer 2013, and as of January 2014, Lipscomb has awarded 369 digital badges at a level two or above. This would equate to over 1,000 credit hours if participants in the CORE Assessment Center chose to convert their badges to credits.