MyPath CBE

MyPath's benefits, challenges and triumphs focus of competency-based education conference

October 03, 2017 by Cindy O'Dell

Laurie Dodge
Laurie Dodge discusses the basics of competency-based education at the CBExchange.

Brandman University’s MyPath creators, tutors and students shared their experiences with other participants in competency-based education (CBE) programs at the recent CBExchange conference.

The CBExchange had over 420 participants that included university and college representatives as well as vendors in the CBE space, a representative from the U.S. Department of Education and CBE national leaders, reported Laurie Dodge, vice chancellor of Institutional Assessment and Planning and vice provost at Brandman.  She is also the chair of the board of directors of the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN), which sponsored the conference.

Dodge presented “CBE 101: Competent in the Basics” and participated in a variety of panel discussions. Other Brandman participants were Hadassah Yang, associate vice chancellor of Institutional Research and Planning; Monica Shukla, associate dean in the School of Business and Professional Studies; Diana Echols, tutorial assistant professor (business); Margaret Moodian, tutorial assistant professor (humanities and social sciences); and Tammy Pao, tutorial assistant professor (business). Brandman MyPath student LeAnn Bethel was on the “Knowing Your Learner – A Learner Panel.”

Tutorial faculty
Tammy Pao, Monica Shukla, Margaret Moodian and Diana Echols were the panelists for a discussion on training and program development from the faculty perspective.

Among the points they emphasized in addition to the basics of competency-based education were:

  • Faculty roles and responsibilities in meeting the needs of students to ensure student success
  • Data metrics and analytics in competency-based education
  • The quality standards established by C-BEN and its supporting guidelines
  • The learner experience in competency-based education
  • Industry standards and how Brandman meets them with milestone posts.
  • How student outcomes are similar to traditional ones
  • How Brandman met the inherent challenges many find in this model of education thanks to the university’s collaborate and supportive culture.

“Helping students be successful in this program is of utmost importance and we continuously strive to find effective ways to do so,” said Echols, adding that faculty members perform various tasks that are ideally performed by dedicated staff, allowing for continuous improvement.

“I sat on the student panel, and it was clear we are making a difference with this program, which was wonderful to hear,” said Moodian.

As pioneers in this method of instruction, the attendees were particularly pleased to hear students stress “you cannot skate by in CBE.” Dodge said programs, such as Brandman’s, which adhere to the quality standards provide a strong foundation.

CBE panel
Students, including LeAnn Bethel from Brandman, offered their views on competency-based education.

“Brandman is the leader in their innovative approach to CBE using technology, adaptive learning, a framework reflective of industry-specific knowledge, skills and abilities and, most importantly, proactive faculty engagement with students,” said Dodge.

Brandman is one of the few institutions in the nation who have the U.S. Department of Education approval for a direct assessment (competency-based) education program and the first to be able to offer financial aid as approved by the department.

In addition to the presenters, Brandman members of C-BEN who attended the meeting were Lee Johnston, associate vice chancellor for CBE technology, and consultant Ed Callahan of RPM Associates.

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