NEBHE Sets Conference on “Competency-Based Education” as NE High Schools Boost “Proficiency-Based” Cousin

NEBHE will explore competency-based education (CBE) during a conference titled The Case for Competency-Based Education: A New Age of Teaching and Learning? to be held Monday, Oct. 20 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Among questions to be explored by speakers:

  • What is the evidence that CBE is a more effective than traditional instructional strategies?
  • What does CBE mean for the ever-rising higher ed costs and tuition prices?
  • Can CBE be effectively used in a brick- and-mortar institution or only online?
  • How does CBE create alternatives to the credit hour?

Confirmed speakers include: Southern New Hampshire University President Paul LeBlanc; Inside Higher Ed reporter Paul Fain; Capella University President Emeritus Mike Offerman; Council of Adult and Experiential Learning President Pamela Tate; University of Maine Presque Isle President Linda Schott; and Granite State College President Roxanne Gonzales.

Meanwhile CBE’s high school cousin often known as “proficiency-based education” has gained significant traction in high schools across the region. All New England states—except Massachusetts—are members of the New England Secondary School Consortium (NESSC) and have embraced proficiency-based approaches in high schools to help increase college and career readiness.

In a June 3 news release, NESSC announced a significant increase in higher education institutions now recognizing proficiency-based high school diplomas and transcripts. The consortium’s Collegiate Endorsement of Proficiency-Based Education and Graduation has been signed by 55 colleges and universities across New England, including the public university and community college systems in five states and three private institutions in Maine.


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