Competency-Based Education is expected to bring equal learning opportunities to students

Sydney McClanahan, Features Editor

The California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) is building a Direct Assessment Competency-Based Education (CBE) that will bring equal learning opportunities to students. With CBE, students will not be required to be online for any specific time, thus giving more flexibility to their schedules.

Erica Menchaca, professor at Bakersfiled College and curator of the Office of Institutional Effectivness said, “There is not a set amount of hours a student needs to sit in class or log in online, necessarily. Instead, students have more options for how quickly or slowly they will progress through a module and more freedom in when they will engage with course content, every morning or on the weekends.”

Menchaca mentioned that though CBE has other models throughout the country, Californias Code of Regulations, Title 5 was recently changed in favor of directed assesment compentency based learning.

“The California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) is organizing a CBE Collaborative to develop implementation plans, policies, and processes over the next five years,” she said.

As opposed to Carnegie unit-based approaches, CBE offers the flexibility for students to learn and engage at their own pace and time, while still having access to assistances of faculty and staff.

“Industry partners, faculty, and staff work together to design the program objectives/outcomes which means that assessments will focus on skills and understanding that align more with what is needed in future employment,” she said. “Also, support is embedded throughout the students journey.”

Though CBE is still in the works of development for Bakersfield College, the statewide collaboration is scheduled to begin in March 2021.

Menchaca said, “If BC is accepted into the collaborative, there will be a website with more information published along with the timeline and FAQs.”