In October 2016, several Capella University employees and graduates attended and participated in the Competency-Based Education Network’s (C-BEN) second annual CBExchange, a two-day conference focused on helping share best practices and information to schools interested in competency-based education (CBE) programs.

Highlights of the conference included a visit from U.S. Department of Education Undersecretary Ted Mitchell, several student panels, and a variety of sessions centered on developing quality standards within CBE programs.

Capella students and graduates participated in a panel on the first day, moderated by Inside Higher Ed news editor Paul Fain. The panel illustrated how important the student experience is to the success of CBE programs.

Capella FlexPath graduate Bryan Agosto discussed how the assistance he received from his coach and his classmates was instrumental in helping him achieve his goals on his chosen timeline. “In order to get through my program, I needed to find my courage,” shared Agosto. “And for me, courage wasn’t a thing, it was a person.” He recounted the story of how early in his Capella program he connected on LinkedIn with a classmate named Courage, and that together they served as support and encouragement to each other as they worked through their programs. Even though Agosto was going through his program via a self-paced format, it was important to him to build connections with others.

Capella University graduate Bryan Agosto with his family at commencement in 2016.

Representatives from Capella also participated in a session introducing a draft of quality standards for CBE programs that will be useful for schools and regulators as they begin to understand what quality means within CBE. During his visit to CBExchange, Undersecretary Ted Mitchell called the draft standards “necessary” in order for CBE to succeed.  The final standards are scheduled to be released publicly in early 2017.

Learn more about Capella’s approach to competency-based education.