Founded in 1972, Magna Publications serves the higher education community supporting professional development.

Building Strategies for Competency-Based Learning

Learn an influential new approach to higher education from a veteran of federal education policy making. Discover sound arguments to help you gain support of resistant staff and step-by-step strategies that will equip you to start, administer, and teach a CBL degree program.



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What if we started rewarding students for skills acquired rather than time spent in a lecture hall?

The competency-based learning (CBL) model is taking on new importance as it threatens to break the iron triangle of education. The result is expanded access, improved affordability, and a higher quality learning experience for students, who can apply their accumulated life and career experience to obtain college credit.

The first academic program completely based on competencies rather than credits was approved by the Department of Education in 2013 at the College of America, a community college associated with Southern New Hampshire University.

Advocates see the education method as a response to the rising demand for highly skilled workers in the fields of medicine, technology, and energy.

So, how can you develop pathways for a successful CBL program at your institution?

This seminar, Building Strategies for Competency-Based Learning, covers what you need to know about creating, administering, and teaching a CBL degree program.


With a new secretary of education, a different type of federal and state accountability for higher education institutions may emerge. Two- and four-year colleges may focus more on the needs of distance and online learners, inspiring faculty and administrators to pursue programs that may be more compatible with CBL.

This seminar presents a chance to get ahead of the curve. Attendees will better understand the following:

  • The arguments for implementing CBL and how customizing learning pace can lead to better student outcomes
  • CBL strategies for defining competencies
  • How to accommodate faculty and institutional needs in a new and uncertain regulatory and political climate
  • Best practices for implementing CBL programs

Learning Goals

Implementing a new academic experience can take time, and preparation is critical. Janet Poley, PhD, past CEO and president of the American Distance Education Consortium, will provide the tools and direction you need to take the first steps in developing and implementing CBL at your institution. Attendees will learn to do the following:

  • Define the terms learning competency and learning outcomes
  • Describe roles of learners, faculty, institutions, accreditors, stakeholders, and others in designing and implementing CBL courses and programs
  • Develop a model for adopting and adapting CBL to your particular clientele, institution, and stakeholders in a manner that is ethical, practical, measurable, accessible, and accountable
  • Describe alternative assessment approaches
  • Adopt models and ideas from institutions successfully using CBL, and incorporate best practices into your college plan
  • Build CBL strategies, programs, and courses on the growing research base in the use of technology, defining competencies, formulating learning outcomes, developing rubrics, and creating portfolios as well as managing, maintaining, and reporting assessment data

Here is an opportunity to challenge curriculum design and inspire student support, faculty involvement, and administrative processes while learning from the experiences of institutions at the forefront of the CBL movement.

Topics Covered

  • Potential benefits and how CBL can transform the educational experience at your institution
  • Factors in the new administration that may affect implementation of CBL and how they may change
  • Defining competencies and different assessment strategies for determining competencies
  • Federal educational funding for CBL and the Department of Education approval process for funding a CBL program
  • The relationship between CBL and the Department of Labor workforce development initiatives
  • A review of the work already completed on CBL as well as successful CBL programs
  • Best practices for implementing and reviewing CBL programs in adult education, workforce training, distance, and continuing education


This seminar is intended for those interested in pursuing new developments and challenges in higher education:

  • Administrators looking for a practical overview of the best current knowledge available on creating a successful CBL program
  • Faculty seeking a solid introduction to an innovative method of teaching that may soon be taking on new importance at their institutions
  • Consultants and private-sector individuals and organizations working with colleges to develop competencies and assessment approaches in various fields
  • Human resource development managers in charge of preparing personnel for a new approach to higher education


This is a chance for faculty and administrators to learn an influential new approach to higher education from a veteran of federal education policy making. Order today to discover sound arguments to help you gain support of resistant staff and step-by-step strategies that will equip you to start, administer, and teach a CBL degree program.

Product Code: OC17BA


Campus Access License

With the purchase of the optional Campus Access License (or Group License when ordering online), registrants are granted a license to download the program contents to a password-protected network, server, or website for additional staff use. You will receive information on downloading the contents of the program within 3-5 business days.


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