CompetencyXChange: Visionaries Creating the Game Plan to Scale CBE

Higher education is embracing CBE — with about 600 2- and 4-year institutions offering more than 1,000 CBE-based programs. And there’s an appetite to grow those numbers; recent research shows that 82% of institutions expect CBE programs to grow over the next five years.

Now is the time to forge a coalition of educators, businesses, and community organizations that positions competencies as the currency of learning and equitable economic opportunity. To do so, we need to design a 3-5 year agenda to make the structural and policy changes needed to allow CBE — and our nation’s learners — to flourish.

The vision of CompetencyXChange is for a world in which we can meet the country’s talent needs by ensuring all learners have the opportunity to earn credentials that demonstrate mastery of the skills, knowledge, and behaviors required to thrive in their chosen career.

Therefore, C-BEN is proud to launch CompetencyXChange, an initiative to position competencies as the currency of equitable economic opportunity and boost the adoption of high-quality competency-based learning solutions. A key part of this work is bringing together a taskforce of visionaries to create a common agenda and definition of roles for the stakeholders necessary to scale competency-based solutions. This agenda encompasses seven issue-areas: policy, quality assurance, research, community, education providers, employers, and education technology. C-BEN is grateful that the following higher education and workforce development leaders have joined in this initiative:

  • Derrick Anderson, Senior Vice President of the Learning and Engagement Division at ACE
  • Michael Collins, Vice President, Jobs for the Future
  • Jacob Fraire, Director of Policy and Strategy, Diana Natalicio Institute for Hispanic Student Success at the University of Texas at El Paso
  • Shannon Gilkey, Rhode Island Commissioner on Postsecondary Education
  • Paul LeBlanc, President of Southern New Hampshire University
  • Nick Moore, Education Policy Advisor & Coordinator Governor’s Office of Education & Workforce Transformation, Office of the Alabama Governor’s Office
  • Jane Oates, President, WorkingNation
  • Cheryl Oldham, Vice President, Education Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Rhianna Rogers, Director of the Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy (CAREP) at the RAND Corporation
  • Deborah Santiago, Co-founder and CEO, Excelencia in Education
  • Yolanda Watson Spiva, President, Complete College America

The visionary taskforce will advise the seven working groups crafting the agenda and next steps for scaling CBE programs while aligning with C-BEN’s Quality Framework and delivering more equitable learner and career outcomes. The Game Plan to Scale CBE will be released at CBExchange, which will be held October 18–21 in Amelia Island, FL. This is C-BEN’s largest event of the year and the only competency-based education conference in the nation.

Following the agenda’s launch, the CompetencyXChange visionary taskforce will call upon colleges and other postsecondary providers, businesses, and nonprofits to join a coalition committed to championing the adoption and scaling of competency-based solutions.

C-BEN hopes you share their excitement around this vision, initiative, and the groundbreaking work the taskforce is undertaking to bring it to fruition. Join them at CBExchange to learn more!

About the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN)

C-BEN is a network of institutions, employers, and experts who believe competencies can unlock the future of learning — making education and training more flexible, responsive, and valuable. We support stakeholders across the spectrum of competency-based learning, from institutions and employers who want to embed competencies into their existing programs to those looking to design full competency-based degree programs from the ground up. For more information, visit

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