New Member Brochure

C-BEN is Open to New Members - At long last, C-BEN is officially open to new members! Attached you will find the new member brochure which we will post on comp-L.  If you know of interested individuals, please feel free to forward this piece to them.

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Quality Principles and Standards Released for Competency-Based Education Programs


May 3, 2017Today the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) released the first ever set of Quality Principles & Standards designed specifically for post-secondary competency-based education (CBE) programs. With the continued expansion of CBE programs across the nation, there is a clear and growing need to define more clearly the elements of quality in competency based education.  

“We recognize that the future of the CBE movement depends on our ability to clearly articulate quality standards,” said Charla Long, executive director of C-BEN.  “Institutions building or refining programs need help making critical decisions about design and delivery, and policymakers and accreditors tasked with regulating this emerging field of practice need clear guideposts and assurances.”

Developed through a year-long process led by a diverse group of C-BEN institutions, the Quality Principles & Standards are designed to be universal enough to apply to all CBE programs, regardless of model variations, but specific enough to provide strong assurance of quality in the development and implementation of competency-based learning programs. During the drafting and vetting process, multiple venues and opportunities were provided for feedback from the field.

Over 100 individuals from institutions and state systems, and more than a dozen experts and regulators working on quality assurance, equity and student success efforts provided feedback during the drafting process. Feedback venues included an online portal and face-to-face convenings held between September and December 2017. Performance indicators for each standard were drafted between January and April, 2017, and will be vetted in a range of venues in the coming months.

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New Tool Provides Institutions with Guide to Plan and Implement Competency-­Based Education Programs

The Competency‐Based Education Network (C-BEN) today released an interactive CBE Design Planner tool that allows institutions to plan for designing, developing and scaling high-quality competency-based education (CBE) programs capable of serving students of all backgrounds. The tool is the latest resource developed by C-BEN, which serves as a network of institutions as they create and offer degree programs with well-defined learning outcomes and rigorous assessment.

Access the CBE Design Planner here.

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CBE Design Planner

Thinking about starting a CBE program at your institution? Here’s your chance to help test a prototype of  the “CBE Design Planner,” a new interactive tool designed to guide you through the ten design elements that are key to creating a quality CBE program. The CBE Design Planner has a visual interface that lets you see all ten elements at a glance, and  helps you build a plan tailored to your community’s unique needs. Each element also has associated practice indicators for you to consider. The end result is a custom-designed plan that you can save, print, share and edit. The CBE Design Planner prototype is a model for you to explore and comment on so that we can deliver the best tool specifically designed to meet the on-the-ground needs of those tasked with developing CBE programs. Please note that this is a prototype, not a fully functional website, and is designed to collect comments and feedback.

Click here to launch the CBE Design Planner.

C-BEN Year 2 Report

This report shares the highlights from C-BEN’s second year.

Click here to download the full report.

Understanding the Academic Calendar: A Resource Guide


Developed by C-BEN, this resource helps higher-education professionals better understand definitions and terms related to the academic calendar.

Click here to download the resource guide.

Questions Every Financial Aid Professional Should Ask About Competency-Based Education Programs: A Resource Guide


Institutional leaders have many questions about financial aid when they are designing and implementing a competency-based program. Developed by C-BEN, this resource helps financial aid professionals address these questions and best support competency-based innovation on their campuses.

Click here to download the resource guide.

Questions Information Technology Professionals Should Ask About Competency-Based Education Programs: A Resource Guide


Developed by C-BEN, this resource helps information technology professionals support competency-based innovation on their campuses. The questions raised in this document will ensure institutions have the technological systems needed to launch and scale sustainable competency-based education (CBE) programs on their campuses.

Click here to download the resource guide.

Competency-Based Education Ecosystem Framework

The Competency-Based Education Ecosystem Framework provides the most detailed and accurate description to date of what competency-based education (CBE) looks like from the perspectives of learners, higher education professionals, policymakers and others involved in this rapidly expanding movement. The report gives everyone involved in CBE programs a baseline understanding and common language to guide the development of high-quality programs.

Click here to view the report.

Shared Design Elements and Emerging Practices of Competency-Based Programs

Public Agenda

In January 2015, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Public Agenda set out to find program design elements shared among thriving competency-based education (CBE) programs. Several months of research, and conversations surfaced ten shared design elements. These elements were sourced and vetted in collaboration with project sponsors, partners and CBE program leaders. Then, the elements were validated through a comprehensive field survey. The field is young and growing. Amid such rapid change it is striking to see these ten shared design elements and their emerging practices show up again and again. These design elements and practices are meant to instruct rather than prescribe. We hope our findings guide and support your CBE program design process, leading you and your team to the most robust and quality program possible.

Download the resource.