Lessons learned from leading one of the nation’s largest college offering Competency Based Education

Concurrent Session 9

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Competency based education continues to grow exponentially and offers many advantages compared to the traditional higher education approach.   This session will explore the CBE landscape and various frameworks in order to help attendees determine the right approach to CBE and considerations for determining the optimal delivery model.


Dr. Eric Goodman serves as the president of Higher Ed Change, a strategy and educational improvement firm that helps institutions manage change and focus on what matters in order to maximize student success, improve institutional effectiveness and reach their potential. Most recently Eric was the national director for the College of Business at Western Governors University (WGU) where he led the nation’s largest competency based college with over 22,000 students. Before joining WGU, he spent the prior 15 years as a higher education administrator at various institutions serving as a chief academic officer as well as a business school dean. In those roles, he led numerous initiatives to enhance academic quality, student outcomes including retention, curriculum development, program offerings, online and multi-campus operations, accreditation, academic technologies and overall performance. Dr. Goodman has been involved in consulting and training in a variety of areas such as program development, competency based education, online learning, strategic planning, accreditation, change management, leadership development, and organizational improvement. For over a decade, as a Senior Associate Consultant with Noel Levitz, a higher education consulting firm focused on enrollment management and student success, Dr. Goodman worked with a variety of colleges and universities, both public and private as well as state online consortia. Dr. Goodman also served on the executive committee of the Organization Development and Change Division of the Academy of Management for over a decade and as a Peer Reviewer for The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. He has published numerous articles and book chapters in areas related to organizational culture, change management and teamwork. Dr. Goodman holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a focus in Organization Development from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he also earned a master’s degree in Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing.

Extended Abstract

Given the surge in Competency Based Education, this session will explore the emerging landscape of CBE and the range of CBE models.  It will also examine the opportunities and challenges of CBE.  A CBE framework and design principles will provide insight into numerous questions that need to be answered when thinking about launching a CBE program.  Having led the nation’s largest College of Business offering an exclusively CBE format to over 22,000 business students at Western Governors University, I will share insights into this unique model of educational delivery.  We will also discuss best practices related to curriculum development, student support, program delivery, and a variety of other areas.

This session will not only present a variety of information, but is also designed to be interactive in order to engage those individuals who are already exploring or have launched CBE programs at their institution.

CBE will continue to gain momentum as an estimated 600+ institutions are in various phases of exploring how to adapt and launch CBE type programs.  By receiving information from the national leader in CBE, attendees will leave with a basic roadmap and much more thorough understanding of best practices to approach CBE.