ExelEd Minimizing the Time from Enrollment to Employment

Competency-Based Education

Improving Opportunity and Access to Learning in Tennessee

Competency-Based Education is a pedagogical approach to designing courses where students are expected to demonstrate competencies aligned with clearly defined learning objectives. Demonstration of competencies is achieved through reliable and authentic assessments created by the course designer/instructor. Course competencies are the skills, knowledge, processes, and/or procedures that a learner can perform after completing the course modules. Relevant learning activities are aligned to course competencies and performance assessments.

Competency-Based Education at TBR is defined as an innovative, student-centric approach to post-secondary learning, that promotes open access and improves opportunities by removing barriers for adult learners in Tennessee. Competency-Based Education is designed for equitable student achievement by mastering clearly defined real-world competencies based on workforce needs, minimizing the time from enrollment to employment.

Competency-Based Education Program/Course Design Training

TBR's Competency-Based Education Team has partnered with national experts from the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) to assist in defining our CBE Model and provide training for CBE program development. 

C-BEN, led by Dr. Charla Long, is the only organization of its kind, dedicated 100% to competency-based learning. Their focus is on three main priorities:  growing demand, building capacity, and removing barriers. Dr. Long and the C-BEN organization will bring knowledge, expertise, and resources to support the development of CBE programs which will be rooted in quality and align with C-BEN's Quality Framework for Competency-Based Education Programs to all interested community colleges in the TBR system. The training will cover course development as well as considerations for student support and program implementation. C-BEN will guide participants through the backward design process in creating the program materials specific to institution's needs. 

Registration for this training is now open. While registration is open for all roles to attend all training modules, you may find it helpful to personalize the learning epxerience for your team. The tentative schedule is as follows:

  • Wed, 3/23/2022, 9:30 am to 12:00 pm - Backward Design, Levels of Mastery
  • Tues, 4/19/2022, 9:30 am to 12:00 pm - Backward Design, Assessment Strategy
  • Thurs, 5/19/2022, 9:30 am to 12:00 pm - Backward Design, The Learning Journey
  • Tues, 6/14/2022, 9:30 am to 12:00 pm - Other Academic Considerations (SACSCOC)
  • Tues, 7/12/2022, 9:30 am to 12:00 pm - Student Services
  • Tues, 8/2/2022, 9:30 am to 12:00 pm - Non-Academic Considerations

Registration Link


Competency-Based Education Newsletter "The CBE Advisor"

The Competency-Based Education Team has developed a newsletter that shares the latest information, best practices, and resources in Competency-Based Education. Click the links below to visit all issues of The CBE Advisor.

March 1, 2022 Issue #1

March 15, 2022 Issue #2

April 1, 2022 Issue #3

April 15, 2022 Issue #4

May 1, 2022 Issue #5



Meet Your Competency-Based Education Team

The Competency-Based Education Team was formed in August of 2021 and charged with the task of building a Competency-Based Education model for TBR. This Team looks forward to supporting the college faculty members every step of the way in developing quality Competency-Based Education courses.

  Sarah Hazelton Competency Based Education Curriculum Coordinator 

Sarah Hazelton, MBA
Competency-Based Education
Curriculum Coordinator
(615) 366-3906

  Dr. Jamie Nelson Competency Based Education Curriculum Coordinator



Dr. Jamie Nelson
Competency-Based Education
Curriculum Coordinator
(615) 366-3901

  Cheryl Tays Competency Based Education Curriculum Coordinator  

Cheryl Tays, MS, Ed.S
Competency-Based Education
Curriculum Coordinator
(615) 366-3904

The Competency-Based Education Team is led by Dr. Chuck Lopez, Assistant Vice Chancellor of  Academic Affairs. He can be reached at (615) 366-3941 or chuck.lopez@tbr.edu.



Innovative, Student-Centric, Real World

"Competency-based programs are generating increased interest and awareness in higher education. Many colleges and universities see the potential to better plan, organize, and deliver educational opportunities and experiences..." 
Competency-Based Education Network

"Using demonstrations of learning to give more people access to educational opportunity..."
Lunina Foundation

"Competency-Based Education is not a new concept in the United States..."
The Journal of Competency-Based Education