Frequently Asked Questions

CBE is an innovative new learning model that puts students at the center of the learning process and emphasizes mastery of the learning concepts and flexible pacing. The CBE format enables you to flex your pace within a term, meaning you can move ahead or slow down and take a bit more time, as long as the work is still completed within the term or block timeframe. To receive a passing grade and demonstrate competency, you need to earn 80% or higher on each summative assessment--an assignment similar to a larger paper or project in a traditional class. You will be given at least one opportunity to revise and refine your understanding if you don’t demonstrate competency on your first try.
You register for CBE classes through MySLCC just like with other classes. Visit the Registration site for more information. If you are unable to register, reach out to your academic advisor for assistance.
To check if a course is available in the CBE format, look for “Competency-Based Education” under Schedule Type when browsing classes.
Financial aid eligibility and requirements depend on what type of program you are in. If you are in credit-based courses, the same financial aid requirements for traditional courses apply to CBE courses. If you are in a School of Applied Technology Program, Federal financial aid for CBE programs is currently pending. However, VA and Pell Grant funding is available in certain programs through the clock hour system. Please see the specific program for funding opportunities. Visit the SATTS Scholarship and Financial Aid website to learn more.

Attendance requirements are the same for CBE courses and traditional courses. Students are required to attend the first class meeting of any regularly scheduled or hybrid CBE courses or inform their instructor in writing that they intend to attend subsequent meetings.

For online CBE courses, students are required to log into their CBE courses within the first five days of the term and are expected to login on the first day of the term. Otherwise students may be dropped to make room for other students. 

Students receiving financial aid must also show Satisfactory Academic Progress if they are receiving financial aid. Consult the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions.

In a CBE course, students are graded based on their ability to demonstrate their knowledge of course concepts and skills on specific assignments called summative assessments. While there will be activities in the class to help you practice the course concepts, the summative assessments are the only assignments that count toward your grade in a CBE course. They are designed to help you demonstrate your knowledge of the course concepts and/or can perform the core skills learned in the class. To pass a course, you must earn at least a B on each summative assessment. If you don’t earn a B on your first attempt, you will be given at least one more opportunity to study, revise, and resubmit. Summative assessments can be in many forms, like exams, essays, projects, models, ePortfolio assignments, or lab demonstrations.
If you don’t pass a summative assessment on the first try, your instructor will provide you with detailed feedback to help you understand what areas need improvement so that you can continue practicing and make the necessary revisions or retake the assessment. Just be sure to read course policies carefully because the number of attempts permitted vary by course.

The CBE programs within the School of Applied Technology and Technical Specialties use a mastered/not-mastered (pass/fail) grading scheme with a varying pass level of 80-100%. While 80% is the standard for most courses, there are courses that require 100% pass level.

The semester-based CBE courses use an A, B, E grading scale, also referred to as A, B, or Not Yet Passing. Any score below 80% is considered a failing score. Students are also expected to earn competency on each summative assessment to successfully pass the course. 

CBE courses have flexible pacing, which means you can complete the work as you are able, within certain limits. In semester-based CBE courses, students must complete and successfully pass all of the summative assessments before the term ends. Many courses have the Reading Day listed as the final date to submit work. 

In the SATTS clock-based programs, students must meet CBE Academic Progress Standards by completing milestones or summative assessments. This can be assessed with your instructor during your weekly meaningful contact meetings.  

CBE courses do not typically have classes that meet at certain times each week. Instead, instructors may provide optional synchronous meetings online or in-person. Some programs have lab requirements that must be completed in person, but these labs can usually be completed at times that fit your schedule.

Right now, we offer the 10 General Education courses listed on the Competency-Based Education page for credit-based, fully online CBE courses that can be used towards an AA, AS, or AAS degree. SLCC also has a Biotechnology Program in the CBE format that is offered in a hybrid (partially online and partially in-person lab) format. The School of Applied Technology and Technical Specialties (SATTS) also offers many programs in the CBE format. SATTS CBE program information can be found on the SATTS site.

The School of Applied Technology (SAT) first started piloting CBE programs in January 2015 and it was limited to those in the Healthcare, Computer and Network Technologies, and Culinary Arts, as those were already operating in a quasi-CBE modality. The SAT later expanded its CBE offerings through a 3-year TAACCCT grant awarded in 2016 which made possible the implementation of CBE in most of its short-term certificate training options.

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