National Survey of Postsecondary Competency-Based Education 2019

Competency-based Education (CBE) programs have attracted great interest across higher education over the last decade. These learner-centered programs are designed to teach students particular competencies, and students advance through a program based on demonstrated mastery of a competency rather than on credit hours or grades.

The National Survey of Postsecondary Competency-Based Education (NSPCBE) is an annual, web-based survey of postsecondary institutions in the United States, geared toward assessing the state of the CBE field, including both institutions that are interested in adopting CBE and those already on the adoption pathway.

The survey will be administered over three consecutive years (2018-2020) to provide important information about the early development of the field to policymakers and practitioners. Survey questions include:

  • How many postsecondary CBE programs are there in the US?
  • What different CBE program models are being used in the US?
  • How many students are enrolled in CBE programs in the US?
  • How many students have received a CBE credential in the US?
  • What are the accelerators and barriers to adopting a CBE program?

Additional survey questions are designed to shed light on whether, how, and why institutions decide to adopt CBE; how effective and affordable they are considered to be; and how these institutions envision using them in the future.

In 2019, the second annual NSPCBE received responses from over 600 colleges and universities, providing updated findings and new information on a broader set of institutions.

The survey builds on Eduventures® 2016 Deconstructing CBE report, and on the 2018 NSPCBE conducted in partnership with Eduventures®.