Competency-Based Learning

Students in science lab at Intrinsic Schools in Chicago

In most schools and colleges, every student must move through curriculum in the same amount of time. It doesn’t matter what they know coming in. They get a grade that's supposed to reflect how much they know and can do at the end of a quarter or semester. Competency-based learning changes the dynamic of time and it rewards students for skills acquired rather than time spent in a seat. It expects the same level of mastery from every student.

For all students, competency-based learning opens the possibility of multiple pathways to college readiness and college completion. In higher education, competency-based education models can break the “iron triangle,” expanding access, affordability, and quality for more students, especially when it is combined with new technology to deliver and assess learning. In K-12, competency-based education allows students to move at their own pace, sailing through what they can learn quickly and slowing down and getting more support from teachers when they struggle. See the blog Competency-Based Learning in K-12 Schools for information about how NGLC schools apply this design principle in their school models. And then read Experts Weigh in on Competency-Based Education for a contemporary perspective on the impact of competency-based education on students, teaching, and learning.


Resources on Competency-Based Learning

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    • K-12
    • Higher Ed

Competency-Based Learning Grant Recipients

K-12 Breakthrough Models

K-12 Tech Innovation

Higher Education Breakthrough Models

  Models Tech