Competency-based learning is an educational approach centered around mastering specific skills and demonstrating understanding before progressing to the next level. Students advance based on their ability to show proficiency in predefined competencies, rather than following a strict timeline.
Competency-based strategies provide flexibility to earn or award credit and provide students with personalized learning opportunities. Transitioning away from seat time in favor of a structure that creates flexibility allows students to progress as they demonstrate mastery of academic content, regardless of time, place, or pace of learning. These strategies include online and blended learning, dual enrollment and early college high schools, project-based, and community-based learning, and credit recovery. This knowledge leads to better student engagement because it is relevant to each student and tailored to their unique needs. It also leads to better student outcomes because of the pace of learning customized to each student. By enabling students to master skills at their own pace, competency-based learning systems help save time and money. Competency-based systems also create multiple pathways to graduation depending on the strategy pursued. Make better use of technology, and support new staffing patterns that utilize teacher skills. Interests differently, take advantage of learning opportunities outside of school hours and walls, and help identify opportunities to target interventions to meet students’ specific learning needs. Each of these presents an opportunity to achieve greater efficiency and increase productivity.
Involves the taking, or retaking, of unsuccessfully completed classes during the regular school year. Students were enrolling in an accredited program where the students study the material outside regular school hours – whether after school, during the summer, or on the weekends – to gain the course credit student did not obtain initially.
If the student passes a credit recovery course, the student will be back on track to graduate and ready to move on to complete other classes in the high school curriculum.