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Competency-Based Education Network Launches as an Independent Organization, Expands Membership Opportunities

June 15th, 2017

Calls for all competency-based education professionals to join in responsibly advancing the field

June 15, 2017— C-BEN announced today that it is launching as an independent organization and opening its membership to all in higher education who are committed to working collaboratively with other individuals, institutions and organizations to advance the design and build of high-quality competency-based education (CBE).

“C-BEN is based on the conviction that collaboration across institutional boundaries is key to accelerating progress on the toughest challenges facing advocates of competency-based learning,” said Charla Long, executive director of C-BEN. “It’s time to strike out on our own and widen the circle of participation to all who share our commitment to responsible, student-centered innovation in higher education.”

Founded in 2013, C-BEN had been grant funded exclusively by Lumina Foundation, with membership composed of 30 member colleges and universities and four public higher education systems representing 82 campuses. As C-BEN becomes a free-standing nonprofit organization, its first priority is to support the spread of knowledge and expertise in competency-based education by opening membership to all who are committed to innovation on behalf of better outcomes for students.

C-BEN will continue to serve as a convener through two annual membership convenings and through the popular CBExchange conference. The third annual CBExchange conference will be held September 20-22, 2017, in Phoenix Arizona.

In addition to serving as a convener and clearing house for information, C-BEN will continue to function as a testing ground and laboratory for cross-institution collaboration focused on accelerating the pace of problem solving around the key challenges to designing and scaling high-quality CBE programs. The newly formed C-BEN Collaboratory will serve as the research and innovation body of C-BEN. The Collaboratory will be focused on actively supporting the ongoing development of C-BEN’s quality standards and metrics, data and evidence sharing, and participation in the development of field-facing outputs that advance the field.

As C-BEN becomes a free-standing association and opens its membership, it is reaffirming its continued commitments to the following goals:

• Build the next generation of innovative CBE leaders.
• Support the diversity of quality CBE program models being developed across member institutions while creating the conditions for trust, openness and collaboration within its member community.
• Develop cross-cutting standards that institutions can draw on to inform the design or scaling of high-quality programs.
• Foster trusted relationships and a solid reputation with federal and state policymakers and accreditors.
• Provide a state-of–the-art professional development program for staff and faculty interested in increasing knowledge, skills, and abilities in competency-based education design.
• Create a nationally recognized convening that brings individuals and institutions together to learn about the who, what, why, and how of CBE program development and implementation.

“There are hundreds of institutions that are keenly interested in building CBE programs that would benefit from the network to turn that interest into action,” said Laurie Dodge, president of C-BEN’s Board of Directors and vice chancellor of institutional assessment and planning of Brandman University. “We are excited to open the doors to C-BEN, creating a space for all who are committed to promoting and advancing CBE as a strong pathway to high-quality degrees and credentials.”

Information on membership options for C-BEN can be found at: https://cbenmembership.eventbrite.com and details for CBExchange can be found at http://www.cbexchange.org/

About the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN)

The Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) is a network of colleges, organizations, and individuals dedicated to realizing the potential of competency-based education. Members share a commitment to core principles and a willingness to work collaboratively to harness the potential of the competency-based education ecosystem; promote and advance competency-based education as a strong and legitimate pathway to high-quality degrees and credentials for all learners; play a defining role in the growth of the movement; build and scale high-quality competency-based education programs; and advance the latest in innovative competency-based learning practices. C-BEN can be found online at CBENetwork.org and on Twitter at @CBENetwork.

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