EdSystems has had the pleasure of working with the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) and a handful of Illinois community colleges as they develop competency-based education (CBE) programs in the high-demand sectors of welding and industrial maintenance. It is exciting work because CBE is an innovative approach to learning which is built from the ground up to focus on what students need to know and be able to do. It responds to student needs by providing the flexibility for them to learn outside of traditional time- and seat-based constraints while assuring employers that CBE graduates have mastered the competencies they need to be successful.
It is no secret that postsecondary education is at a pivotal moment and must adjust if it is to remain useful and relevant in our rapidly-changing world. CBE offers a way forward with the potential to make postsecondary education more valuable and flexible for learners and employers.
We recently spoke with students in the CBE Welding Technology Program at Lewis and Clark Community College, a frontrunner in CBE. They provided valuable insights that we are pleased to share with you. Key takeaways include:
- Students value CBE’s scheduling flexibility and the freedom to work at their own pace.
- It is crucial to have someone for students to connect with who understands the program and how financial aid works.
- To be successful, students have to be motivated and responsible.