Clark Communications

April 25, 2014 07:15 ET

14 Colleges and Universities Selected for CAEL Competency-Based Education Initiative

Lumina Foundation's Jumpstart Funding Will Help Institutions Evaluate Students on Skills Gained Instead of Time Spent in a Course

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - April 25, 2014) - Fourteen colleges and universities across the country have been selected to participate in the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) Competency Based Education (CBE) Jumpstart program, CAEL CEO and President Pamela Tate announced today. Funded by the Lumina Foundation, the initiative will help build the capacity of higher education institutions to offer competency-based education degree programs to assist students so they can make progress towards a degree by successfully completing assessments of a defined set of competencies, rather than solely through successful completion of credit-hour based coursework. For many, this could dramatically decrease the time it takes for them to earn a degree.

In making the announcement Tate said, "Competency-based approaches take the important step of placing the focus on what a student knows and can do, while minimizing the importance of where the student learned it or how long it took to learn. CAEL is excited to be working with these colleges and universities to help them launch CBE initiatives to enable adults to access new learning modes, demonstrate their college-level competencies and progress more rapidly to degree completion."

The colleges selected are:

Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Los Angeles, California

The New School, New York, New York

Golden Gate University, San Francisco, California

LeTourneau University, Longview, Texas

Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, Indiana

Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia

Minnesota State Colleges and University System

Community College of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Davenport University, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Pace University, New York, New York

University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio

Granite State College, University System of New Hampshire

Missouri Department of Higher Education/Missouri Community College Association

CAEL will provide a half- to full-day of on-site training for each institution's competency-based education and assessment faculty and staff to help them understand the impact the program may have on the organization as it works toward implementation. The training will be followed up with additional support through webinars on selected topics that each school may be interested in pursuing. Select institutions will also have the opportunity for more in-depth technical assistance with a CAEL subject matter expert on specific topics depending on where they are experiencing challenges related to CBE implementation.

The move toward embracing CBE has been growing as numbers of higher education officials and legislators across the country continue to support it as an option for students pursuing a degree. President Obama praised CBE in his August 2013 speech on affordability in higher education, and the Governors in Indiana, Texas and Wisconsin have also supported competency-based approaches in postsecondary education. 

"When it comes to providing opportunities for adults to receive a college degree, there should be many different options for them to access learning and credentials which is why competency-based education is so vital," concluded Tate. "We are excited to be working with these colleges and universities to help expand opportunities for everyone pursuing a degree, and thank Lumina Foundation for their generous support of this important initiative."

The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Chicago, Illinois that assists adults with their educational endeavors, finding practical ways to help them earn college credit for learning acquired through life and work experiences toward the completion of a postsecondary degree. CAEL works with the public sector, private sector industries, and higher education institutions to ensure that adult students receive the most efficient training and education to occupy a meaningful professional place in a 21st century economy. Since 1974, CAEL has assisted colleges and universities to develop programs that evaluate adults' non-collegiate learning for college credit. CAEL is the recognized national expert on a method known as portfolio assessment, and its Ten Standards for Assessing Learning are used by colleges and universities, as well as accrediting organizations, across the country. More information is available at Follow CAEL on Twitter at or like us on Facebook at is managed by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), and operates with support from Lumina Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the State Street Foundation, the Houston Endowment, USA Funds, and Brown Foundation. The Walmart Foundation is also providing support and scholarships for eligible users of For more information, visit

Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina's outcomes-based approach focuses on helping to design and build an accessible, responsive and accountable higher education system while fostering a national sense of urgency for action to achieve Goal 2025. For more information, logon to

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  • Jackie Clark