Wouldn’t it be helpful, even fun, if you could master the skills you want at your own pace, and then advance to the next academic level and eventually graduate? Well, competency-based education (CBE) lets you do that. Instead of focusing on the environment, i.e., where you learn, CBE teaches you how you can apply the skills mastered. This is crucial because recent research shows that a large number of students in America lack academic motivation, and the learning environment plays an essential role in inspiring a student to succeed in their education.
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For a teacher, the hardest job is coming up with learning techniques that motivate students because even with an excellent lesson plan in place, if even one student is unmotivated, they will not learn. However, with CBE, students have clear learning goals and are required to master specific knowledge and skills before proceeding to the next level, which in turn motivates a learner to want to succeed.
Besides, CBE creates an environment where students who are lagging in specific subjects get extra time and personalized support that works to boost confidence and motivation. What advantages does CBE have for students?
CBE Addresses Individual Needs
For many years, education was centered on taking various subjects where the grade determines when you will move to the next level of your academic career. Those who fail the course or subject have to repeat, and in some cases, they progress to the next class without mastering the required skills and knowledge. The main disadvantage of this form of learning is that it does not work for everyone. Some students will struggle in a specific subject or topic while others from the same class will excel. This often results in frustration that translates to academic failure.
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CBE hopes to rectify this by addressing the individual needs of learners. So instead of focusing on the grade, competency is all about whether the student has grasped a particular content or skill.
Besides, instead of bombarding learners with many concepts from which they have to pass all of them, CBE advocates that every scholar demonstrates competency in that specific unit before they are allowed to progress to the next one. Unlike traditional education, the competency method does not focus specifically on credit hours. Instead, CBE programs emphases on competencies relevant to a specific career.
CBE Offers Flexibility and Affordability
Since CBE depends on the individuals, it is very flexible in that it has no specific set hours, semesters, or classes. Instead, learners control when they want to complete the CBE program and from where. Besides, prior learning is recognized, which means that you can enroll at any level. This, in turn, speeds up completion of a particular qualification, which results in a less expensive way of acquiring skills.
CBE Builds on Your Existing Knowledge
For adult learners who are also working or looking to change jobs, competency-based learning is advantageous. It allows you to use existing knowledge and show that you have mastered the required competencies. That way, instead of wasting money and time repeating concepts you already know, you can build on existing skills and knowledge and complete your degree at a pace that also accommodates family, job, and other responsibilities.
Achieve Academic Goals
When students are studying a program or course that is within their capacity, they tend to be more motivated to succeed. CBE improves completion rates as it is self-paced. Besides, only when you are fully confident that you can prove mastery will take the assessment and receive the credit and move on to the next material. For CBE programs, there is no fast or slow way of learning.
CBE Provides Timely Support
Unlike the traditional education where a student is offered remedial support after failing, in CBE, every learner gets a mentor or additional support during the learning process.
Competency-based education programs are an ideal alternative for students who want a non-traditional approach to the current school program yet still wish to gain meaningful education and relevant new skills that enable you to become more valuable to an employer.
Besides, it gives you the freedom to learn at your own pace, lower the cost of your education, and shorten the timeframe for earning a degree. Furthermore, there is a growing number of accredited colleges and universities that offer competency-based programs that you can enroll in from anywhere in the world.