About C-BEN



What is C-BEN?

C-BEN stands for Competency-based Education Network. We are a group of regionally accredited institutions (two- and four-year public and private colleges and universities), employers and CBE experts working together to resolve challenges aligned with designing, developing, and scaling competency-based education (CBE) programs in order to unlock the potential of competency-based learning and ensure an education more flexible, responsive and valuable.

How Does C-BEN Support the Field?

C-BEN recognizes that today, competency-based education is still a nascent field with a small number of people and institutions understanding enough to describe it or implement it. C-BEN supports the field by enabling CBE growth through educating others about competency-based learning, training and developing practitioners, sharing valuable connections, and providing technical assistance with our CBE consulting services. 

C-BEN’s Efforts Focus On Three Main Priorities

Grow Demand

To reach scale and build a sustainable movement, C-BEN helps students, employers, and other key stakeholders better understand CBE and its evidence of outcomes for competition, cost, and workforce needs alignment.

Build Capacity

To help institutions and organizations offer high-quality CBE programs, C-BEN equips leaders from a wide range of disciplines and perspectives with the resources needed to be successful in their various roles.

Remove Barriers

To make the design and delivery of CBE programs less challenging, C-BEN seeks to remove barriers currently in place through legislative regulatory or accreditation bodies.

Our Mission Statement

We are a member-driven community of professionals united in our efforts to build and promote competency-based education as an effective, efficient, affordable and sustainable pathway to high-quality postsecondary degrees and credentials for the growing diversity of today’s learners.

Our Vision

To be the indispensable go-to source of knowledge, skill and professional development for people and institutions looking to learn more about, develop or implement competency-based education.

Our Values

We value:

  • Authentic long-term relationships
  • Diversity of people, thought and action
  • Giving generously of time and talent so others may benefit from our work
  • Results-driven approaches
  • Evidenced-based, high-quality CBE practices
  • Fresh knowledge and new ideas that generate continued advances in CBE
  • Trusted collaborative and cooperative interactions
  • Humility and optimism in field leaders
  • Making visible and accessible our members’ talent and expertise


Become A Member

C-BEN strives to represent an ensemble of institutions, systems, delivery providers, vendors and others with a vested interest in advancing the field. Membership is open to institutions, regardless of their stage within the CBE program development cycle.

How We Got Started

In early 2014, the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) selected an initial cohort of participating colleges and universities. This first cohort included 17 institutions and two public systems serving 42 campuses. These institutions participated in a research-and-development phase, funded by the Lumina Foundation, to create an evidence-based approach to advancing high-quality competency-based education capable of serving learners across all backgrounds.

The Board of Directors, led by Laurie Dodge of Brandman University, was formed in spring 2013 and the network issued a formal call for membership applications in the fall. A second cohort of 13 colleges and universities and two public higher education systems joined C-BEN in early 2015. In May 2017, C-BEN became its own non-profit organization and opened membership to a larger group of constituencies.

Today, the network is comprised of over 140 colleges, universities, state systems, corporations, service providers and individuals dedicated to realizing the full potential of competency-based learning.

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