Five reasons why competency-based education adds value in the workplace
By Nick Lacy
Let’s be honest: The perception and relationship between business and higher education is somewhat strained.
A recent Gallup poll revealed that while over 90 percent of higher education institutions felt education was preparing students for the workforce, only 11 percent of business owners agreed.
That’s a significant gap, and Brandman University is taking another step to close it through our latest innovation in educating adults: Competency-Based Education (CBE).
Here are five reasons why CBE will add value to your workforce.
1. Competencies and assessments are applied directly. By surveying more than 100 employers, researching the Department of Labor database, analyzing nationwide certificate programs, and more, we learned the competencies that students must go through to demonstrate mastery of the knowledge, skills and abilities that the market says are most needed. At the top of the list are strategic development, interpersonal communications, team building and conflict management. Students must demonstrate mastery of these competencies, and others, through various assessments. Using case studies, portfolios and project submissions that directly reflect daily tasks, students use their workplace knowledge to earn a degree.
2. All the internal training and work experience you have enabled will help your employees get their degrees. Wouldn’t it be great if organizations and higher education institutions could work together in valuing each other’s content in an effort to earn a degree and enhance content and training methods? With Brandman’s CBE program, that idea becomes a reality. As soon as students enter a competency, they will take a test that looks for what they know and don’t know about that particular competency. After the test, they will focus only on the things they don’t know (the technical term is called “adaptive learning”). We have no interest in teaching students what they already know, but we are interested in discovering what they know as a result of your training and applying that to getting a degree.
3. Students will join a network of professionals from throughout the country. Brandman has built a social learning experience into the CBE platform. Not only is commenting and posting on discussions a requirement to acquire their degree, but it also opens up an incredible opportunity to network with other professionals going through CBE and those who have the same emphasis area. CBE brings a whole new way to learn from one another.
4. Enhance your culture of learning with achievement badges. Brandman has partnered with Credly to release badges as students make progress toward completion and reach different milestones. These can be shared across their social networks and with supervisors, their learning and development team and the human resources department so that you can celebrate their progress just as much as their friends. Innovation and creativity, technology and communication are just a few of the badges that can be earned.
5. Professional, personal and educational schedules align perfectly, at last. Because students can access their degree from any iPad, tablet, or Internet browser on their own time and move entirely at their own pace, you can have the assurance that you will not need to adjust regular work schedules to support their educational endeavors. Rather you role is to encourage the pursuit of their educational dreams and to celebrate achievements along the way.
About the author
Nick Lacy is the Director of Competency-Based Education and National Relations at Brandman University.
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