ORLANDO, Florida (Sept. 26, 2018) – The Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) announced winners in its first Storytelling Contest, that recognizes excellence in illustrating the value of this innovative approach to higher education, today at its CBExchange 2018 conference.

The University of Louisville received first-place honors for its digital story about the institution’s first graduate from the competency-based program. For their story, the University of Louisville received a $2,500 award to invest in its CBE program. Rasmussen College earned second place in the competition and a $1,500 award for its CBE program. Salt Lake Community College and Southern New Hampshire University tied for third-place honors and each received a $1,000 prize for their programs.

Winners were selected from among 18 video stories submitted by C-BEN member schools as part of the competition, which was launched to encourage member universities to share digital stories from their campuses about the impact competency-based education is having on their students. The stories were collected to build a bank of resources for universities and prospective students to illustrate this innovative approach to completing a postsecondary credential.

“The power of story is strong,” said Charla Long, C-BEN executive director. “By seeing someone who has experienced a competency-based program and hearing the impact it’s had on their lives, gives others who may be considering building a program reassurance needed to embark on this journey.”

The new story bank repository went live this week during CBExchange 2018, held at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort and attended by more than 450 individuals representing over 200 colleges, universities and institutions across the nation. The C-BEN story bank may be accessed at c-ben.org/story-bank.

“Storytelling is an essential element of how we develop marketing initiatives and make meaningful value propositions,” said Lee Bewley, program director, B.S. OLL-Healthcare Leadership at the University of Louisville. “Winning the C-BEN Storytelling Contest provides critical external affirmation that our ways of reaching and serving more potential CBE students can be effective and acknowledges that contributions of our team in developing the stories.”

Corrine Gordon, coordinator of personalized learning and lead faculty for liberal arts at Northern Arizona University, believes the story bank will be an important resource.

“Humans make meaning through story. It is our universal language,” said Gordon. “Sharing stories about competency-based education allows us to better understand ourselves, and it helps others better understand the work we do and the students we serve.”

Competency-based education combines an intentional and transparent approach to curricular design with an academic model in which the time it takes to demonstrate competencies varies and the expectations about learning are held constant. Students acquire and demonstrate their knowledge and skills by engaging in learning exercises, activities and experiences that align with clearly defined programmatic outcomes. Students receive proactive guidance and support from faculty and staff. Learners earn credentials by demonstrating mastery through multiple forms of assessment, often at a personalized pace.

The Competency-Based Education Network is an organization designed to support individuals and institutions in the competency-based education field. To ensure its impact on the future of learning and student success, C-BEN is committed to spreading its knowledge and expertise through programming and support services that can help others move through the learning curve competently – accelerating development, adoption, and continued innovation. C-BEN’s efforts focus on three main priorities: growing demand, building capacity, and removing barriers.

For more information about C-BEN, visit c-ben.org.

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