By Brandman University
Education isn’t one-size-fits-all anymore. We live in a fast-paced, on-demand, customized world. So shouldn’t your education be the same? Enter competency-based learning. Learning outcomes remain the same—transformative learning, personal growth and expanded career potential. But the delivery differs dramatically, making it more accessible to people like you who are itching to improve themselves through education.
First, what is competency-based learning?
You may have taken college courses in the past that were built on time-based systems. Competency-based learning is different. Students can demonstrate their mastery of what they already know to move on faster or spend more time learning new concepts. “Individuals can learn in a way that works best for them,” says Mary Stephens, CEO of PrepForward. “Individuals can follow their own learning style, identify their strengths, and focus on their weaknesses.” Learn more about some of its big benefits and the types of people who thrive in this learning model.
1. The productive parent
If you’re a parent trying to build a better life for you and your family, competency-based learning may help fit school into your schedule. “Self-paced courses help working parents, because even with the best intentions, parents have to flex with their children,” explains Elizabeth Malson, president of Amslee Institute. Whether you’re fitting your studies in after bedtime or squeezing them in before soccer practice, you’ll have the opportunity to work ahead so you’re prepared when things pop up.
2. The career climber
If you’re trying to take your career to the next level, competency-based learning may be a perfect fit. “Students in these programs may find their classroom projects can actually be used at work,” explains Hadassah Yang, Associate Vice Chancellor at Brandman University. Camille Canuto of Smartsims Business Simulations recently completed a competency-based program while working. “You will need to learn how to manage your time well and learn to prioritize your tasks. This is a great to skill to hone,” she says.
3. The military maverick
Whether you’re a veteran or active duty member of the military, competency-based courses recognize the skills you’ve developed while serving your country. “Those serving in our military may have times of deployment,” Malson offers. These can interfere with a traditional course structure as the student may not be able to participate for several weeks. “A self-paced program allows students the option to work ahead or catch up as needed to maintain their [military service] as their first priority.”
4. The midlife career changer
Like the career climber, you’re likely pretty busy with a jam-packed schedule. You have more wisdom and life experience that you can leverage in your learning. And you can spend more time brushing up on the subjects you feel rusty on. “With self-paced learning, students who learn faster can move forward with the modules on their own time, while students who learn at a slower pace can take their time to understand a particular topic at their own pace,” Canuto explains.
5. The nightshift worker
If your schedule is unpredictable, competency-based learning programs will allow you to avoid the hassle of scheduling work around classes. You can pursue your dream career whenever it’s most convenient for you. “This is especially true for nurses, emergency dispatchers, rideshare drivers and all others who have non-traditional work hours,” she says. Malson also mentions students can take advantage of a flexible schedule to study when they’re most able to engage.
Evolutionary education for learners like you
Join the higher education revolution and start exploring your options. You just might find that going back to school is more realistic than you originally thought.
Looking for a place to start? Check out the Brandman MyPath™ competency-based learning programs crafted for working professionals in today’s nontraditional world.
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