- University Ventures Managing Director Ryan Craig and eLumen CEO Joel Hernandez write for TechCrunch that the rise of CBE programs, which have thus far inspired minimal demand from students, may be like smartphones that needed apps to take off after the iOS and Android operating systems were already created.
- CBE programs’ “clickable credentials” will create unprecedented access for employers and graduate school admissions officers to see the actual skills of graduates, the programs will prove the value-added element of college that is now somewhat obscure, and career services departments may be able to develop ways to market their students to prospective employers by specific, proven skillsets.
- Craig and Hernandez add CBE programs will greatly help the problem of remediation, with tailored curricula designed to teach students chosen competencies as well as supporting skills through remedial content.
Competency-based programs let students move at their own pace through the content. Students get credit for information they have already mastered by skipping those portions or modules and moving on to new information. Embedding developmental education into the standard course is modeled after corequisite remediation, with which several states have found great success.
Students who are strong in one area but weak in another will be able to complete a course in a fairly standard period of time. Students who are weak in all areas, however, may fall into the same trap of taking longer to graduate, which increases the expense and the likelihood they will drop out. The strength of corequisite remediation is that it helps students pass credit-bearing courses at the same time they get extra support to master skills that they should have learned in high school. It would be a major loss if CBE programs were not developed with this in mind.