Frequently Asked CBE Questions
Are you interested in finding out more about competency-based education (CBE)? Let’s start with frequently asked questions.
A CBE program’s requirements are called competencies and sub-competencies. These are based on your knowledge and abilities in a field of study. You must prove you have mastered each competency or sub-competency before progressing. Hence the name ‘competency’ based education.
If needed, you may be required to complete a placement test, which can be scheduled through our Testing Center. If you find that you need to refresh college readiness skills, we can get you started in the traditional program. This will provide various options to assess your prior learning, such as credit-by-exam (CE).
First, a CBE advisor will discuss your relevant experiences and former educational training. This will take into account your military training, college/university course credits, current industry certifications, and/or your years of experience in the field.
Second, you may need to complete a prior learning assessment to demonstrate what you know; this will determine whether or not you receive credit for the entire course of a portion of the course.
Finally, in areas that you cannot demonstrate prior learning experiences, you will need to take the full course to master each competency/sub-competency.
Mastery of all competencies and sub-competencies within a course results in successful completion of the course and the earning of college credit. However, a course will also have other assignments associated with traditional learning in that class. This means that to earn college credit for the course, you must pass the competencies and sub-competencies and finish the student learning outcomes associated with the course.
Keep in mind that in the CBE program, you will need to achieve 80% mastery on each competency and sub-competency, not an 80 in each course. An individual CBE course will house competencies and sub-competencies, although there are, as before noted, other assignments in the course as well. While CBE allows you to earn credit for the knowledge you already possess, you must still demonstrate knowledge of the requisite learning outcomes to earn traditional college credit for a course.
With the support of the North Carolina Community College System and the General Assembly, participating colleges collaborated over two years to identify the appropriate competencies and sub-competencies for the Information Technology – Network Management degree based on industry standards and requirements. These colleges developed a set of expectations for each course to have consistency in determining the mastery level for each competency and sub-competency.
Put simply, you may be expected to demonstrate the same competencies and sub-competencies in multiple courses at varying levels of mastery.
When you apply and take a prior learning assessment and/or present evidence of prior mastery, you receive credit for the competencies and sub-competencies assessed at 80% of greater mastery.
Since courses are divided into modules which align with the various competencies and sub-competencies, modules therefore allow you to bypass any competencies and sub-competencies that you have already mastered. This means you can concentrate on those course modules for which you have not yet mastered the required competencies and sub-competencies.
If online is not an option, then SCC has a traditional Information Technology – Network Management degree available in a seated or hybrid format.
To determine if you qualify for financial aid, you should complete the FAFSA and indicate Stanly Community College as your choice from the list of colleges.
When selecting a program of study, make sure to select CBE Information Technology – Network Management. If there are any questions about financial aid, you can contact our Financial Aid Department at 704-991-0302 or visit our website at: http://www.stanly.edu/future-students/financial-aid.
For example, CIS 110, Introduction to Computers, is a 3 credit hour course divided into three modules: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. If you only need to take the PowerPoint module, which is 1 credit hour out of the 3 credits for CIS 110, you will receive credit by exam (CE) for Word and Excel. You will then register for PowerPoint and pay for only the 1 credit hour instead of the full 3 normally required.
As is evident from this example, the cost savings and the accelerated pace are two of the greatest advantage of participating in the CBE program.
As a new CBE student, you should follow these steps:
Step 1: Contact our CBE advisor, Merlin Amirtharaj, who will walk you through each of the CBE steps. Include contact information.
Step 2: Apply to SCC.
Step 3: Meet either online or on campus with a CBE advisor to create a CBE educational plan.
Step 4: Take any required prior learning assessments for the chosen semester courses.
Step 5: Register for the courses or modules through the CBE advisor.
Step 6: Successfully complete your semester courses or modules.
Step 7: Relax and prepare for the next semester of courses!