Competency-Based Education

​​Take a moment to imagine a college classroom where you get credit for what you already know.​​​

A college classroom where you can apply your existing knowledge — like what you’ve gained through life experiences in the workplace — to demonstrate mastery of a skill.

Can you picture that?

OK, good! Now add to your vision the ability to gain additional college credit in this classroom by mastering new skills. You can learn these new skills at your own pace, and all the material is personalized for you.

Sound nice? We think so too. And lucky for you, this classroom already exists, online, with instruction that is competency-based. You start when you want, test when you are ready and study only what you need!

What Is CBE?

Short for “competency-based education,” CBE is a type of learning that is highly personalized and allows you to progress at your own pace. You earn college credit through mastering skills and completing “assessments” that give you credit for things you've previously mastered in your life.
CBE is very popular among adult learners who know that street smarts are just as important as book smarts. It's one thing to have knowledge, but it’s an entirely different ball game when you've actually mastered a skill. It makes you more marketable to employers and helps build self-confidence.​

Introducing Competency-Based Education

Competency-based instruction, offered 100 percent online, is available through the Fast Track Supervisor certificate and Fast Track Retail Management certificate programs.

These certificates include many of the benefits of competency-based education, including:

  • Open educational resources (no textbooks to buy!)
  • Personalized instruction.
  • Self-paced learning.
  • A flexible classroom structure.
  • Advanced knowledge and skills.
  • Employer reimbursement for training.*
  • A certificate of mastery upon completion.

* Note: Some employers will pay for this program. Check with yours.

Effective supervisors are necessary in all settings where employees need guidance and direction to complete tasks, serve customers and meet deadlines. Corporations, private and public organizations and educational institutions are just a few of the environments that search for effective supervisors. Because the job title “supervisor” cuts across all industries, this certificate is an excellent choice for students in a variety of businesses.

Students earning a Supervisor certificate will demonstrate:

  • Improved communication and self-confidence.
  • Increased managerial skills.
  • Enriched problem-solving skills.
  • Enhanced human relations skills.

Students who earn the Supervisor certificate online — with fast-track, competency-based education — are pre-assessed prior to starting classes, meaning they only need to work on missing competencies until they achieve at least 80 percent mastery.

From food to fashion, many industries rely on retail managers to keep their businesses running efficiently and effectively. Retail managers offer employees guidance and direction to complete tasks, serve store customers and ensure important deadlines are met.

A few of the areas that retail managers can work in are customer service, merchandising, information, logistics and supply chains, marketing or human resources. Because retail managers are employed in numerous industries, this certificate is a great choice for students in a variety of businesses.

Students earning a Retail Management certificate will demonstrate:

  • Improved communication and self-confidence.
  • Increased managerial skills.
  • Enriched problem-solving skills.
  • Enhanced human relations skills.

Students who earn the Retail Management certificate online — with fast-track, competency-based education — are pre-assessed prior to starting classes, meaning they only need to work on missing competencies until they achieve at least 80 percent mastery.

FAQs

Classes that offer competency-based education are developed with industry needs in mind. Faculty from the campuses of Dallas College partner with industry professionals from across the county to identify competencies – skills and abilities – essential for today’s workforce. These competencies are then taught in class, and students are continually “assessed” to see what they've mastered. Once you've mastered all the competencies required for your program, you will receive a certificate. This certificate proves to yourself, and to future employees, that you have what it takes to succeed in that industry or area.

We know learning can happen in many different ways, not just the classroom! With competency-based instruction, assessments allow your professor to find out what skills you may already have, and which ones still need work.

Each lesson begins with a pre-assessment. If needed, you (the student) can move into the course content to brush up on the subject matter before taking the mastery assessment. Once the mastery assessment is passed at 80 percent or higher, you can move on to the next competency. No need to wait on slower classmates or keep the slow 16 week pace of typical instructors. You can accelerate to completion at your own speed!

When you pass an assessment, you demonstrate what you know to employers seeking your skill set.

If we are talking about a certificate that offers competency-based instruction, like the online Supervisor certificate or the online Retail Management certificate, this depends on your prior knowledge and experience and how many classes you enroll in per semester. Speak with the program coordinator to get an accurate estimate of how long the certificate program will take for you.

Check out our registration page for a listing of upcoming dates and deadlines. We offer fall, winter, spring and summer class options.

At Dallas College, you get a university-quality education for a quarter of the cost. Get detailed information about tuition and more.

Contact Us

Need more information about competency-based education?
Contact a program advisor: