What Does CBE Stand For?

Discover what CBE stands for and how it revolutionizes education. Learn about its benefits, examples, case studies, and statistics in this comprehensive article.


Competency-Based Education (CBE) is a personalized approach to learning that focuses on mastering skills and abilities rather than just completing courses. It allows students to progress at their own pace and demonstrate their knowledge through assessments.

What is CBE?

CBE is a flexible learning model that emphasizes the mastery of competencies, which are specific skills or knowledge areas that students need to acquire. Instead of traditional grades, students are evaluated based on their proficiency in each competency.

Benefits of CBE

  • Personalized Learning: Students can move through material at their own speed.
  • Focus on Mastery: Students must demonstrate competence in each skill before moving on.
  • Cost-Effective: CBE can be more affordable than traditional higher education models.
  • Real-World Application: Students learn practical skills that are directly applicable to their chosen field.

Examples of CBE

One example of CBE is Western Governors University, which offers programs where students can earn degrees by proving competency in various subject areas. Another example is the College for America at Southern New Hampshire University, which focuses on skills-based learning.

Case Studies

A study by the American Institute for Research found that students in CBE programs outperformed their peers in traditional programs in terms of completion rates and time to degree. Additionally, a report by the Lumina Foundation showed that 9 out of 10 employers prefer candidates with skills-based credentials.


According to a survey by Educause, 74% of academic leaders believe that CBE has the potential to improve student outcomes. The U.S. Department of Education also reported that CBE programs have a higher completion rate compared to traditional programs.

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