Just Do It! Develop the Confidence to Start a CBE Program

Concurrent Session 5
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

If a lack of solutions to tough questions is preventing you from starting or expanding your competency-based education program, come learn from Sinclair Community College how to retrofit systems, change institutional culture, and tackle accreditation and other policy issues, so that you too, can offer flex-paced online or hybrid CBE courses across multiple disciplines.


Since starting at Sinclair in 2013, I have been lucky enough to help build each of our CBE programs from the ground up, wearing multiple hats over the years. My initial role at the college was to aid in the development of a comprehensive student support model for CBE students, and since then, I have been aiding in the launch of all new CBE programs, serving in roles such as CBE Academic Coach, Program Coordinator, and most recently, Instructional Designer for programs in IT, manufacturing, business, and more. Through these roles I've gained a comprehensive understanding and a unique perspective on the strategy, development, and delivery process for CBE programs across multiple disciplines.

Extended Abstract

The decision to offer competency-based education (CBE) can prove to be rewarding and worthwhile for an institution that values innovation, but will inevitably also bring forth tough questions in considering just how to get your feet off the ground.  Sinclair Community College has been there, done that, as we developed our first CBE degrees and certificates more than 4 years ago, and continue to expand to multiple disciplines and modalities.  With over ten CBE programs currently being offered or in the works, we offer flex-paced CBE courses either fully online, or in a CBE hybrid modality.  Through the development, sustainment, and refinement of a diverse group of programs, we’ve created a model for successful CBE program delivery, and learned our share of lessons along the way.

Participants who want to avoid being stopped in their tracks before they even start on their CBE journey will be interested in this session, where Sinclair CBE veterans will share their problem-solving techniques and experiences, and deliver a step-by-step guide to developing a CBE program, applicable to those who are just starting out, and those seeking to refine their current programs.  Presenters will focus on unearthing solutions to potential challenges in CBE, including:  accreditation, classroom policies, faculty roles, retrofitting systems, and learner preparedness and persistence. 

Through interactive questions and answers, audience contribution, and handouts for creating an implementation plan, attendees will leave this session with the necessary tools and confidence to launch CBE programs of their own.  Presentation slides and handouts will also be shared on the conference website.