You may have seen headlines touting the growth and transformative potential of competency-based education. People working to make higher ed more accessible are very excited about the possibilities of this format to help more students earn degrees and to close the skills gap.

Nevertheless, competency-based education, remains an obscure concept to people outside of the few dozen universities that are pioneering it. So I want to use this article to lay out some of the basics for people hearing the conversation grow louder and who want to know what it’s all about.

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