Competency-Based Education (C-BE)


MDE News Release, March 6. 2019: MDE and MSU Partner To Study Competency-Based Education

Competency-Based Education can help all students through flexible systems that support student success and allow for reporting of student competency that reflects student learning. Students advance upon demonstrated mastery of content reflected in the competencies that include relevant content. Competency-based education includes rapid and differentiated support based on individual needs; allowing students to attain the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in careers, college, and citizenship. According to the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) the primary components of Competency-Based Education include:

  • Students advance upon demonstrated mastery;
  • Competencies include explicit, measurable, transferable learning objectives that empower students;
  • Assessment is meaningful and a positive learning experience for students;
  • Students receive timely, differentiated support based on their individual learning needs; and
  • Learning outcomes emphasize competencies that include application and creation of knowledge, along with the development of important skills and dispositions.

This recent podcast outlines how Competency-Based Education fits into Michigan's Top 10 in 10 strategic plan.

Competency-Based Education Grant Pilot Grant (Section 21j of the State School Aid Act)

Section 21j of the 2017 -2018 State School Aid Act provides $500,000 to fund grants for the design and implementation of competency-based education programs. Districts will compete for grant funding for the purpose of providing enhanced choice to pupils and parents for the completion of the requirements for kindergarten through a high school diploma, including the Michigan Merit Curriculum. The grant program is designed to be a three-year opportunity for districts to explore, develop, and implement the systems and processes necessary for a quality competency-based education program.  Grantees are currently implementing year one of the three-year grant cycle.

Please see the 2017-18 C-BE Report to the Legislature for further information on current grant implementation.

Reporting in Competency-Based Education

Please see the Michigan Department's overview of Digital "Badges" in Education.

Examples of Competency-Based Education in Michigan

Do you use a competency-based approach in your district, school, or classroom? MDE wants to hear about it! Please contact Steve Nemeckay to connect with MDE and share the way you use a competency-based approach.