Conference to share CBE experiences, focus on best practices
Competency-Based Learning

Conference to share CBE experiences, focus on best practices

The third annual CBExchange conference on competency-based education is bringing together hundreds of individuals representing postsecondary organizations, funders, and researchers in September to offer advice and share what they’ve learned.

The Competency-Based Education Network will have information about the latest CBE research, design models, and materials. You’ll leave with new resources and contacts to help you lead this innovative model at any level.

CBExchange is scheduled for Sept. 20-22 in Phoenix. Registration details are at the Competency-Based Education Network’s website,

We think you’ll like this combination of shared information and experience. The conference will feature results from a new survey of institutions developing CBE programs, a look at best practices and design elements, along with a look at new resources for those developing programs.

C-BEN is doing this because we’ve seen a strong and growing interest in the innovation around competency-based education. It’s an excellent format for people who need a more flexible schedule or the opportunity to learn in different types of courses, whether online, hybrid, or in person.

Lumina Strategy Director Amber Garrison Duncan talks about the CBExchange conference on competency-based education, Sept. 20-22 in Phoenix.

Mastery, not time

In CBE, the learner’s progression is based on their mastery of competency, versus how much time they spent sitting in that seat.

So, if there’s a competency that I know well, I can move forward as soon as I’ve mastered that—versus maybe waiting eight to 12 weeks and waiting for someone to validate something that I already know how to do.

Or I might need a little more time on a competency because I’ve got a lot of family things going on, so that six to eight weeks is what I need to finish that.

And so, even while CBE allows the learner to dictate the pace at which they move, they still have the appropriate amount of support from faculty and staff, who are there to coach them through the process. They’re never left alone in the learning process.

Shared challenges

In 2013, Lumina Foundation approved its first grants to support a collective of institutions that sought to meet and address shared challenges to designing, developing, and growing competency-based programs using new business models.

Lumina and partners such as Public Agenda, Kinetic Seeds, and rpk Group have been proud to support this group of institutional leaders as they have built this innovative network and become the “go-to” place for faculty and administrators creating these programs.

This past June, we saw the organization’s leaders take another bold step by launching the Competency-Based Education Network as a 501 (c)(3) organization.

C-BEN is projected to more than double its membership to 60 postsecondary organizations and at least four public higher education systems by the end of 2017. The network also has released Quality Principles and Standards for Competency-Based Educational Programs, a long-awaited set of guidelines for developing and implementing rigorous competency-based programs. Such efforts have strengthened the new nonprofit’s role as a leading and unifying voice in the field on matters related to competency-based education.

Growing conference offers help

Last year, more than 400 higher education leaders and innovators attended the second CBExchange, the network’s annual conference. The event has quickly become a destination of choice for institutional representatives seeking to learn about competency-based education, gather tools and knowledge to help implement programs on their campuses and connect with innovative faculty and administrators.

I hope you’ll join the competency-based learning movement by attending CBExchange.

Register now

You should attend if you are

  • interested in, or developing a competency-based education program.
  • already managing a competency-based program that hasn’t grown to full-scale.
  • looking for ways to network with others who are developing or running competency-based programs.
  • eager to share what you’ve learned or troubleshoot challenges.
  • wanting to get your hands on the latest competency-based research and tools.
Back to News