Contact: Teresa Valerio Parrot



Quality Principles and Standards for Competency-Based Education Programs Released

Competency-Based Education Network defines elements necessary for quality program design, implementation

May 3, 2017Today the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) released the first ever set of Quality Principles & Standards designed specifically for post-secondary competency-based education (CBE) programs. With the continued expansion of CBE programs across the nation, there is a clear and growing need to define more clearly the elements of quality in competency based education.

“We recognize that the future of the CBE movement depends on our ability to clearly articulate quality standards,” said Charla Long, executive director of C-BEN.  “Institutions building or refining programs need help making critical decisions about design and delivery, and policymakers and accreditors tasked with regulating this emerging field of practice need clear guideposts and assurances.”

Developed through a year-long process led by a diverse group of C-BEN institutions, the Quality Principles & Standards are designed to be universal enough to apply to all CBE programs, regardless of model variations, but specific enough to provide strong assurance of quality in the development and implementation of competency-based learning programs. During the drafting and vetting process, multiple venues and opportunities were provided for feedback from the field.

Over 100 individuals from institutions and state systems, and more than a dozen experts and regulators working on quality assurance, equity and student success efforts provided feedback during the drafting process. Feedback venues included an online portal and face-to-face convenings held between September and December 2017. Performance indicators for each standard were drafted between January and April, 2017, and will be vetted in a range of venues in the coming months.

“For those of us committed to building a space for strong CBE programs that truly meet the needs of today’s learners, shared quality definitions must be our first priority,” said Laurie Dodge, president of C-BEN and vice chancellor of institutional assessment and planning of Brandman University. “While we know that the Quality Principles and Standards must be updated and refined as the evidence base around CBE grows, today we take a powerful and decisive step forward in creating the conditions for responsible innovation.”

The quality standards can be accessed at: here

and information on C-BEN can be found at:



About the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) The Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) is an independent membership organization comprised of regionally accredited two- and four-year public and private colleges and universities working together to address shared challenges to designing, developing and scaling high-quality CBE programs. C-BEN institutions have developed or are developing affordable, high-quality CBE programs capable of serving many more students of all backgrounds. Additionally, member institutions are offering or will offer programs with well-defined learning outcomes and rigorous assessments. The C-BEN Board of Directors, comprising innovators from several participating institutions, guides the work to provide an evidence-based approach to advancing CBE across the country.

C-BEN can be found online at and on Twitter at @CBENetwork.

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