Through relevant assessment, competency-based education can help you master real-world skills while learning at your own pace.

A woman works on her table device in an outdoor setting.

If you’re like many other working professionals, you may find that online education is the ideal way to advance in your career. Through competency-based education, you can earn an online degree based on your mastery of specific competencies rather than on the completion of traditional courses held in set time frames.

Competency-based degree programs help you gain more than an online college or graduate degree. They help you acquire the skills you need for success in the modern world—at your own pace.

What is competency?

The National Center for Education Statistics defines competency as “a combination of skills, abilities, and knowledge needed to perform a specific task.”1 Competency-based education is designed around helping you master the core competencies of your chosen field of study.

You can acquire competencies through the resources provided by faculty members, or you can use knowledge you’ve gained from work and life experience. As Jamie P. Merisotis, president and chief executive of the nonprofit Lumina Foundation, noted in The New York Times, “Competency is a student-centered, learning-outcome-based model. Where you get the education is secondary to what you know and are able to do.”2

How do universities know if competency-based learning is working?

Universities use competency-based assessment to help ensure you’re mastering the lessons and skills required in your competency-based degree program. Once you prove to your instructor that you can fully apply the principles of a specific competency, you receive credit for completing that lesson.

Universities can assess competency in a variety of ways. For base-level competencies, they might administer an exam. However, for more complex expertise, you may need to turn in an assignment that can only be completed successfully if you have truly mastered that competency.

How do you earn a competency-based degree?

You earn your degree once you’ve proven your mastery of every competency within your specific program. Because most competency-based degrees are offered through an online education program, you can often work at your own pace and complete as many competencies as you want—taking into account any required minimums—during any given term.

Through competency-based education and assessment, you can attain more than a degree. You can develop competencies that apply directly to your chosen field of work, making you a more effective professional.

Explore competency-based learning through Tempo Learning™ by Walden University, an accredited university offering online programs, and earn your degree at your own pace in a convenient online format that fits your busy life.

 

1National Center for Education Statistics. “Defining and Assessing Learning: Competency-Based Initiatives,” on the Internet at http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2002/2002159.pdf.
2The New York Times. “Are You Competent? Prove It.” On the Internet at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/education/edlife/degrees-based-on-what-you-can-do-not-how-long-you-went.html.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

Man sitting at latop
Whether looking for information on programs, admissions, or financial aid, we're here to help.
Whether looking for information on programs, admissions, or financial aid, we're here to help.
Talk to your personal enrollment advisor for more information today. Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.
Talk to your personal enrollment advisor for more information today. Please use our Domestic Form if you live in the U.S.
*Required Field
Academic Interests
Required
Required
Contact Information
Required
Required
Invalid email address
Please provide a valid phone number
Required
Please provide a valid zipcode
Required
Additional Information
Required
Get Started

By submitting this form, I understand and agree that Walden University may contact me via email, text, telephone, and prerecorded message regarding furthering my education and that calls may be generated using automated technology. You may opt out at any time. Please view our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Required

By checking this box, I agree that Walden University may contact me by email, text message, autodialed telephone call, and prerecorded message at the contact information provided above regarding opportunities and offers to further my education. I understand that I may withdraw my consent at any time and that my consent is not a condition of any purchase. I have received the Walden University Privacy Policy