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Measuring Success through Competency-Based Learning


Laura KnappLaura Knapp

Laura Greene Knapp is a researcher with more than 25 years of experience studying education opportunity, college and career readiness, education policy analysis, using data to guide decision making, secondary-to-postsecondary transitions, personalized learning, and identifying promising strategies that facilitate disadvantaged youth access to high quality education programs. Ms. Knapp has developed skills in education research, including directing large, complex projects, designing research studies, evaluating programs and interventions, providing technical assistance, conducting policy analysis, and communicating research findings to both technical and nontechnical audiences.

The Measuring Success through Competency-Based Learning Research Alliance focuses on developing and sharing best practices for implementing Competency-Based Education (CBE) models at the K-12 and postsecondary levels. Led by Laura Knapp of RTI International, the Alliance includes members that span the education ecosystem, including partners in government and policy, funding, research, and implementation. Areas of focus for Alliance work will include CBE curriculum, assessments, transcripts, policies, or financial models.

Allowing students to progress in their learning as they master content, CBE is a fast-growing pedagogical model that requires a clear understanding of student needs. Currently, there are multiple definitions of what CBE is and what it should look like within a district, school, or classroom. To aid educators and other stakeholders, the Alliance developed a CBE definition for consistency:

As a personalized learning approach, CBE provides a flexible and engaging learning environment in which progression is based on mastery of explicit learning objectives, or competencies, as demonstrated through evidence of student learning, rather than the time spent in a course/topic.

The Alliance also created a Mastery Framework that focuses on four major shifts in educators’ practice. Those shifts live within the following dimensions:

  • Structure
  • Culture
  • Teaching
  • Learning

Mastery Framework
CBE_Mastery_Framework_01-21.pdf (289 kb)

  • Lynne Barbour
    Western Governors University
  • Steve Brooks
    North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities
  • Alissa Cheek
    Tri-County Early College
  • Lauren Curtis
    Granville County Public Schools
  • Beverly Emory
    North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
  • Kim Gold
    North Carolina Community College System
  • Kelley Johnson
    Innovation Academy
  • Mark Johnson
    North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
  • Sam Houston
    SMT Center
  • Alisa McLean
    Granville County Public Schools
  • Matt Meyer
    North Carolina Community College System
  • Allen O’Briant
    New Hanover County Schools
  • LaChawn Smith
    New Hanover County Schools
  • Michelle Soler
    University of North Carolina System Office
  • Sneha Shah Coltrane
    North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
  • David Stegall
    North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
  • Catherine Truitt
    Western Governors University
  • Vanessa Wrenn
    North Carolina Department of Public Instruction