Classes & Degrees > Special Programs > Competency Based Instruction

Competency Based Instruction

Take a moment to imagine a college classroom where you get credit for what you already know. A college classroom where you can apply your existing knowledge – like what you’ve gained through life experiences in the workplace – to demonstrate mastery of a skill.

Can you picture that?

Ok good! Now add to your vision the ability to gain additional college credit in this classroom by mastering new skills. You can learn these new skills at your own pace and all the material is personalized for you.

Sound nice? We think so too. And lucky for you this classroom already exists, online, with instruction that is competency based. 

You start when you want, test when you are ready, and study only what you need!

What is CBE?

Short for “Competency Based Education,” CBE is a type of learning that is highly personalized and allows you to progress at your own pace. You earn college credit through mastering skills and completing “assessments” which give you credit for things you've previously mastered in your life.
CBE is very popular among adult learners who know that street smarts are just as important as book smarts. It's one thing to have knowledge, but it’s an entirely different ball game when you've actually mastered a skill. It makes you more marketable to employers and helps build self-confidence.

Introducing Competency Based Instruction

100 percent online, competency based instruction is available through the Fast Track Supervisor Certificate and the Fast Track Retail Management Certificate programs.

Benefits of Competency Based Instruction

These certificates include many of the benefits of competency-based instruction, including:   

  • Open educational resources (no textbooks to buy!)
  • Personalized instruction
  • Self-paced learning
  • A flexible classroom structure
  • Advanced knowledge and skills
  • Employer reimbursement for training *
  • A certificate of mastery upon completion


* Note: some employers will pay for this program. Check with yours.

About the Fast Track Supervisor Certificate

Effective supervisors are necessary in all settings where employees need guidance and direction to complete tasks, serve customers and meet deadlines. Corporations, private and public organizations, and educational institutions are just a few of the environments that search for effective supervisors. Because the job title “supervisor” cuts across all industries, this certificate is an excellent choice for students in a variety of businesses.

Students earning a Supervisor Certificate will demonstrate:

  • Improved communication and self-confidence
  • Increased managerial skills
  • Enriched problem solving skills
  • Enhanced human relations skills

Students who earn the Supervisor Certificate online – with fast track, competency based instruction – are pre-assessed prior to starting classes, meaning they only need to work on missing competencies until they achieve at least 80 percent mastery.

About the Fast Track Retail Management Certificate

From food to fashion, many industries rely on retail managers to keep their business running efficiently and effectively. Retail managers offer employees guidance and direction to complete tasks, serve store customers and ensure important deadlines are met.

A few of the areas that retail managers can work in are customer service, merchandising, information, logistics and supply chain, marketing or human resources. Because retail managers are employed in numerous industries, this certificate is a great choice for students in a variety of businesses.   

Students earning a Retail Management Certificate will demonstrate:

  •  Improved communication and self-confidence
  • Increased managerial skills
  • Enriched problem solving skills
  • Enhanced human relations skills

Students who earn the Retail Management Certificate online – with fast track, competency based instruction – are pre-assessed prior to starting classes, meaning they only need to work on missing competencies until they achieve at least 80 percent mastery.

View FAQs

View commonly asked questions (and answers!) on our FAQ page for competency based instruction.