Competency-based education is an educational delivery model which assesses a students mastery of pre-defined competencies for advancement toward a credential. Competency-based education uses learning instead of time as the measure of student success. Inherent to this model's use of defined learning outcomes, CBE leads to greater transparency and accountability to students and stakeholders. While many are still debating the definition of 'competency,' programs are growing rapidly to help meet national completion goals.
Many competency-based education programs appeal to the many students with some credits but no degree. Competency-based programs offer the flexibility, defined outcomes which increase employability, and acceptance of prior learning that make them attractive to this burgeoning demographic.