Understanding Competency-Based Education

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Why today's interest in competency-based education? "Number one, the degree completion agenda period is driving this—the fact that so many states are moving to performance funding, and colleges are feeling drive to help students be successful," says Pamela Tate of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). In addition, "A lot of employers are really pushing for having a clearer idea of what people know and can do in the workplace." The opening panel at NEBHE’s Oct. 20 conference on competency-based education featured Tate along with Nick Lee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Holly Morris of Educause; Alison Kadlec of Public Agenda; moderator Paul Fain of Inside Higher Ed; and Amy Laitinen of the New America Foundation. The conference, titled "The Case for Competency-Based Education: A New Age of Teaching and Learning?" was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

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