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Lourdes University Academic Affairs provides these Competency-Based Education FAQs to assist prospective and admitted students as well as Lourdes professors and staff to fully understand the benefits and details.

CBE Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Competency-Based Education (CBE)?

CBE is an instructional model that measures your abilities, skills, and competencies rather than
seat time in the classroom. CBE can be offered in several different formats such as fully online,
hybrid, or face-to-face. Each CBE format provides opportunities for you to demonstrate what you
learned and receive credit for mastering a skill or topic!

How does competency-based Learning work?

At Lourdes University, we offer self-paced online programs that enable you to complete
competencies when your schedule allows. This is accomplished by leveraging a learning
adaptive platform that permits faculty to set release conditions. So, when you master a
competency, you can move on without waiting for your instructor or classmates. You can also
take extra time on a competency if you need more to review the course material. You have
control of your schedule.

What are the benefits of competency-based programs?

There are several benefits to competency-based education programs.

  • Flexible – Students can choose when to complete their courses, how they use their resources, and can take courses at their own pace.
  • Pricing Benefit – Students pay one flat fee of $7,000 per CBE term (4 month term). In comparison to the traditional tuition and fees, that is significantly lower. In addition, a
    student who is familiar with a field of study can accelerate through a program rather quickly. As a result, students can decrease program time to completion thus, creating an affordable tuition rate.
  • Accessible – Courses are designed by an Instructional Designer who assist faculty with developing accessible learning activities for all types of learners.
  • Communication – Communication is personalized to a student’s learning experience.
  • Student Accountability – Students take charge of their schedule and learning assignments. Faculty facilitate the learning process.
  • Alignment – It is critical that program outcomes, course outcomes, learning activity, and assessments are aligned within each course.
  • Support – Students have access to a variety of support services. A unique support service within a CBE model is a Success Coach. A Success Coach serves as a student’s personal mentor throughout the program and aids with retention, completion, and personalized support for students.

What support do I have for online CBE programs?

Success Coach

The Success Coach works directly with students to ensure successful completion of competency-based education programs. Success coaches provide support, motivation, and
equip students with the necessary resources to be successful. This will be accomplished by using learner driven data to provide a personalized coaching experience for students.

Program Advisor
A program advisor will help you establish a plan of study. While you have control of when you complete your courses, the program advisor provides advice so that you can earn your degree at an accelerated and affordable rate!

Your program facilitator is an active member in the field of study and a qualified mentor.  Each facilitator conducts research, works in the Nursing field, obtains appropriate credentials for teaching, and is an advocate for personalized learning.  These professionals are here to assist you with all academic related questions throughout the duration of each course.

Academic Support Services 
While students in a competency-based program will complete their requirements using a different instructional model than traditional students, all students will have access to the university support services online and on campus.  Students in a competency-based program can select which resources to access and when they require services.  This will also allow a customized learning approach, as students can select how and when to use academic resources.

Can I receive financial aid for CBE programs?

Yes! Financial Aid is offered to students who enroll into a CBE program.  Students will need to complete a FAFSA application to determine how much can be awarded per CBE term.

Is personalized, competency-based education a workforce model?

While one of the many goals of competency-based programs is to prepare students for their field of study, Lourdes University provides students with a holistic educational experience.

Lourdes University, rooted in Catholic and Franciscan traditions, provides a values-centered education that enriches lives and advances academic excellence through the integration of the liberal arts and professional studies.

What is the role of faculty in a competency-based education program? 

Faculty have a critical role in competency-based education programs.  Relationships, consistent feedback, and providing academic support are crucial to the retention of students in competency-based education programs. While students have the ability to accelerate at their own learning speed, faculty guide the learning path for students. They do so by creating engaging learning activities, answering students’ questions about academic content, building relationships, and staying engaged with student progression.

How long does it take to complete a CBE program?

That depends on you!  You have control of your coursework. The average coursework completed within a CBE term is 3 to 4 courses.  If your schedule and ability allows, you can complete more than the average amount of courses per CBE term.  As a result, this will decrease time to program completion and reduce your overall tuition.