KANSAS CITY—Lumina Foundation, Army University, and the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) will host an education symposium June 20 and 21 in Kansas City, Mo. The symposium, “A Competency-Based Approach to Talent: Connecting Military, Higher Education, and Workplace Learning,” will link academia, industry, and the public sector, including the U.S. Army, to work toward developing a competency-based approach to credentialing and talent recruitment and development.

Stakeholders in each of these sectors award, evaluate, and require credentials such as college degrees, workforce certificates, industry certifications, professional licenses, and badges. The Army does not yet award credentials but is interested in how to help its people earn credentials for military learning. This symposium will highlight efforts to improve how credentials are understood by both providers and employers by focusing on what people must know and demonstrate to earn them instead of a focus on traditional measures such as hours spent in the classroom.

“We need to move to a postsecondary learning system based on actual learning versus the time students spend in seats,” said Danette Howard, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Lumina Foundation. “Competency needs to be the currency of learning beyond high school.”

The two-day symposium will begin with an introduction to competency-based learning, followed by breakout sessions. Topics will include competency mapping, learning in community service, comprehensive digital learning records. Participants also will discuss the “2+2 Framework” the Army is building with Kansas State University to develop a degree pathway for all soldiers that combines their military training, education, and experience with academic coursework and industry credentials. The following day, participants will break into small groups and explore new ways to assess learning, work to make sense of military and other learning outcomes, and discuss how to measure and record competencies gained from diverse learning experiences.

“This event is a fantastic opportunity to forge new partnerships across an emerging learning system based on competencies,” said Chad Ahren, strategy officer for Lumina Foundation who is overseeing planning for the symposium. “Participants from postsecondary education, industry, and all military branches will share their innovations and challenges with the goal of using competencies as the language of learning. This is an important step toward getting more high-quality credentials into the hands of millions of learners.”

Army University is based at Fort Leavenworth, near Kansas City, which has been the center of Professional Military Education in the Army since Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman established the Schools for Infantry and Cavalry in 1881. Army University was established in July 2015.

About Lumina Foundation:  Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. The foundation envisions a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. Its goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy. The Competency-Based Education Network is a group of colleges and universities working together to address shared challenges to designing. Developing, and scaling competency-based degree programs.

Army University, the higher headquarters of the Command and General Staff College, enhances the institutional flexibility and operational focus of the Army’s professional military and civilian learning systems in order to increase academic rigor and relevance; increase Soldier, Army Civilian, and leader competence, character, and commitment, and expand the educational prestige of Army Learning.

The Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization of colleges, organizations, and individuals dedicated to realizing the potential of competency-based education.  Members share a commitment to core principles and a willingness to work collaboratively to harness the potential of the competency-based education ecosystem; promote and advance competency-based education as a strong and legitimate pathway to high-quality degrees and credentials for all learners; play a defining role in the growth of the movement; build and scale high-quality competency-based education programs; and advance the latest in innovative competency-based learning practices.

Media representatives planning to attend the symposium should contact the Army University public affairs officer at (913) 684-5428.

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