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“Competency-Based Education: The Future is Now in Davenport’s New MBA Program” Wynalda TLI Presentation August, 2014 Dr. Frank Novakowski, Associate Dean Graduate Programs, MCB Dr. Wayne Sneath: Program Director Experiential Learning Jim Gort: Associate Department Chair, Management.

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“Competency-Based Education:

The Future is Now in Davenport’s New MBA Program”

Wynalda TLI Presentation

August, 2014

Dr. Frank Novakowski, Associate Dean Graduate Programs, MCB

Dr. Wayne Sneath: Program Director Experiential Learning

Jim Gort: Associate Department Chair, Management

session objectives
Session Objectives
  • To explain the concept of Competency-Based Education (CBE) and its national context
  • To present the structure of DU’s new MBA curriculum—the CMBA Program
  • To discuss the changing role of faculty and students in CBE models
  • To generate discussion on the implications of CBE for Davenport and higher education in general

Basic Tenants of CBE

  • CBE:
  • Awards academic credit based on mastery of clearly defined competencies or “can do” activities favored by business and industry
  • Explodes traditional models of course credit hours and seat time
  • Recognizes prior learning and learning outside the scope of a course, regardless of where, when, or how that learning took place.
  • Supports greater student self-directed learning
  • Encourages access to a broader set of learning resources (MOOCs, Badges, etc.)
  • Focuses on direct assessment of competencies
student and instructor roles
Student and Instructor Roles
  • Instruction often takes the form of facilitation and guidance for learners—mentoring and coaching
  • Feedback is quick and frequent, often structured as scaffolded formative assessments, building from knowledge to skill demonstration
  • Assessment is an integral part of the learning experience rather than occurring at the end
  • Students progress through the material until they demonstrate mastery of the content and related skills
primary goals of cbe
Primary Goals of CBE

Moving beyond proving content knowledge to demonstrating competency through

applying knowledge

The mantra of most CBE programs is:

“Time is variable, learning is fixed”

Rather than a traditional model in which:

“Time is fixed, learning is variable”

cbe in context history national models
CBE in Context: History & National Models
  • Long history (since the 1970s) of Prior Learning Assessment and other types of Credit for Prior Learning
  • Academic curriculum is increasingly influenced by business and industry standards and certifications
  • Increased efforts to define common competencies for college graduates: LuminaFoundation’sDegree Qualifications Profile, AAC&U VALUE Rubric project
  • Response to changing student demographics and concerns about time to degree completion and cost of education
  • Western Governors University launched in the late 1990s and has experienced 30-40% annual enrollment growth in the last 3 years
  • Southern New Hampshire University is another major player
history national models western governors university
History & National Models: Western Governors University
  • Major Elements of the WGU Model
  • Students sign up for a six-month term for flat tuition rate
  • Work online to complete as many competency-based assessments as they can–an “all you can learn and demonstrate” model
  • Program is not credit hour-based, rather 30 competencies make up the equivalent of a typical 120 credit hour Bachelor’s degree
  • Students must complete at least 12 competencies per year (in two 6 month terms) to make satisfactory progress, but can complete more
  • A Bachelor’s degree could be completed in 2 ½ years or less
  • $6000 per year tuition
other trends and models
Other Trends and Models
  • Programs being developed at all levels: Associates through Doctorates
  • Many programs are fully online, but several have emerged as hybrid models in which students can choose CBE as an alternative completion to semester-bound in-seat, blended, or online deliveries
  • Another large player is…
  • Southern New Hampshire’s College for America:
    • Associates Degree in General Studies w/ Business Emphasis:
  • – Low cost ($2,500 per year all-inclusive)
  • – Flexible: self-paced and self-directed
  • – Organized around 120 competencies, not courses
  • – Mastery not based on grades or seat time, but on passing demonstrating knowledge and skill through direct assessments
southern new hampshire university
Southern New Hampshire University

SNHU Competencies are defined as:

“Can do” statements representing observable, measureable behavior which demonstrates what a student knows and can do”


Disciplinary and Lifelong Learning Skills:

– Can negotiate with others to resolve conflicts and settle disputes

– Can speak effectively in order to persuade or motivate

– Can define and use marketing terminology and concepts


The Future of CBE: Some Challenges

  • The Council for Adult & Experiential Learning (CAEL)
  • has indicated some of the following as challenges for CBE programs:
  • establishing federal financial aid eligibility
  • building faculty support and expertise
  • developing a common language or narrative of CBE terms
  • working with regional accrediting bodies
  • gaining a better understanding of the kinds of assessments being used and their quality
  • (Klein-Collins, 2012)

The Future of CBE: Many Possibilities

  • Growth is assured as:
  • Defining the competencies required for graduation helps to ensure the quality of graduates
  • Competency-based assessments validate learning
  • CBE programs meet increasingly diverse students “where they are”
  • Approximately 140 institutions nationwide are offering some level of CBE programming
  • DU is on the cutting edge!
  • The DU CMBA Program
new cmba winter 1 2015 characteristics of program
NEW CMBA – Winter 1 – 2015: Characteristics of Program
  • Reduced time to completion of degree requirements
  • and overall cost to the student
  • Provides recognition of demonstrated competency in 14 major subject areas common to an MBA degree
  • Provides an opportunity for Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)
  • Serves a high percentage of non-traditional students who have relevant career experience
  • Uses nationally-normed MBA competency exams as means for determining student preparedness
new cmba winter 1 2015 student profile
NEW CMBA – Winter 1 – 2015: Student Profile
  • Individuals most likely to seek and select a CMBA are:
  • Highly motivated and self-directed with strong self-discipline and organizational skills
  • Focused on career development, with a clear sense of purpose and direction, and are willing to explore non-traditional paths
  • Comfortable with technology and savvy regarding the ability of technology to enhance learning in their lives
  • Open to new experiences and willing to risk trying something new
new cmba winter 1 2015 delivery method structure
NEW CMBA – Winter 1 – 2015: Delivery Method & Structure
  • Offered online only
  • All content (texts, learning materials, assignments, assessments) is online and the focused equivalent of 13 three credit hour courses.
  • 15 total Professional Competencies:
  • * 14 relate directly to academic competencies
  • * 1provides professional development assessment
  • Competencies have an average 6 proficiency modules each totaling 84 modules
content groupings what are the professional competencies
Content Groupings: What are the Professional Competencies?

Business Acumen (6)

Accounting, Finance, Economics, Marketing,

Quantitative Business Analysis, Legal

Management & Administration (6)

Business Ethics, Organizational Behavior,

HR Management, Information Management,

Operations Management, Global Dimensions

Strategic Leadership & Personal Development (3)

Strategic Management,

Leadership, Personal Development

stages in the cmba evaluation and planning
Stages in the CMBA – Evaluation and Planning

Assigned Student Support Coach and Faculty Coach

Complete Peregrine MBA Exam for development of individualized Program Plan

Evaluate transfer and other CPL credit and recommend PLA options to complete based on experience, knowledge, and readiness

Formation of a Degree Plan, schedule of direct

assessments, and scheduling into Professional Competency Areas

stages in the cmba registration for a competency
Stages in the CMBA – Registration for a Competency
    • Registration for Professional Competency Areas
    • Billed for semester access to Proficiency Module materials
  • 3. Given access to Proficiency Module materials in
  • Blackboard, schedule of module instruction, and a student degree progress dashboard
stages in the cmba completion of competencies
Stages in the CMBA – Completion of Competencies
  • Completion of modules and assessments, awarding of Competency Area credits, establishment of a GPA, and updating of the student degree completion dashboard
  • Periodic review of dashboard progress on Professional Competency Areas toward completion (SAP) with Student Support Coach and Faculty Coach.
  • Ongoing scheduling of Professional Competency Areas by semester
  • 4. Complete outbound Peregrine MBA Exam before graduation
  • 5. All Professional Competency Areas completed
new roles in the cmba faculty coaches module faculty
New Roles in the CMBA – Faculty Coaches & Module Faculty
  • Faculty Coaches serve as:
    • Mentors
    • Facilitators of individualized instructional paths
    • Evaluators and monitors of overall academic progress for a group of assigned CMBA students
  • Proficiency Module Faculty serve as:
    • Subject Matter Experts to verify knowledge and skills building content
    • Formative and summative assignment graders and evaluators
    • Providers of student support and guidance on content throughout semester
new roles in the cmba student services coach
New Roles in the CMBA – Student Services Coach
  • 3. Student Services Coaches serve as:
    • Facilitators of DU scheduling, financial aid, and academic calendar processes to support assigned CMBA student success
progress in the cmba
Progress in the CMBA
  • Standards of Academic Progress
  • Dashboard view of Professional Competencies and Modules achieved
  • Frequent communication with coaches
  • Ability to begin modules in a semester and cross over to the next semester
  • Completion – typically in 20 months
cost of the cmba
Cost of the CMBA
  • Tuition is $4,000 per semester! – not per credit hour, not per course
  • Students may take a number of Competencies, or Modules per the plan they develop with their Faculty Coach
  • Financial aid, scholarships and discounts will apply