Center to Advance Education for Adults

CAEA ~ DePaul University, School of Continuing and Professional Studies

International Working Group on Competency-Based Learning in Higher Education

Draft 2016-17 Plan (10/6/2016: CB)

Founding Members

The School for New learning, DePaul University Chicago

Adult Learning BA (ALBA), All Hallows College, Dublin

Tangaza College, Narobi


Leadership Team

The School for New learning, DePaul University Chicago:

Marisa Alicea, Catherine Maienau, Michelle Navarre Cleary

Adult Learning BA (ALBA) , All Hallows College, Dublin:

Catherine Breathnach, Siobhan Larkin, Colm Kilgallon

Tangaza College, Narobi:

Loretta Brennan, Sr. Alice Anzoyo C. Dralu, Sr. Agnes Njeri Mbruru


General Aims (2/29/16: MNC)

To develop, research and advocate for competency-based learning as a vehicle for personal, professional and community transformation with a particular focus on adult learners.

General Objectives
1. To contribute to the development of knowledge related to transformational competency-based learning.

2. To act as a repository of knowledge and reflection on transformational competency-based learning.

3. To provide thinking partnership and development support to existing and new transformational competency-based programmes/ colleagues engaged in this work through the exchange of experience and other means as appropriate.

Organisational Working Method
In addition to exchanging experience and reflections in a general and in a responsive manner, the working group will adopt an annual work theme and will be undertaken and result in the following series of actions

-           Identification of per theme a year pertinent to the current interests and concerns of members. The leadership team will agree the theme collaboratively having listened to the proposals of the membership


-           The working group will appoint an inter-institutional ‘theme team’ of two or

three to collate inputs from members on the theme chosen for the year, and produce a collaborative working paper at the end of the year based on these reflections


-        Building on their own experience, members will engage in reflection on the theme and submit these reflections to the theme team. The collaborative working paper will be published on the CAEA website, as

may submissions from members on the theme if appropriate


-        When possible, events to enable dialogue around themes of concern will be held by members of the International Working Group, to which other members may be invited – this may include the possibility of participation by internet communication link.

-           Over time, this approach will build an international repository of documented

knowledge and reflection on transformative competency-based learning which will then be available to those with an interest in this area.



Proposed 2016-17 Action Plan
In 2016-17, the action plan will seek to address these objectives, and test pilot approaches to doing so, by

1.         Adopting 'mentoring' as an exploratory theme to be the primary focus

of dialogue between members.

This will result in
-           Review and research by members into their experience, identifying key issues

and questions

-           Working paper(s) to be published on the CAEA web site

-           Workshop(s) on the theme, utilising communication technology to enable

interaction between members where appropriate and possible, to enable sharing of experiences and discussion of issues and questions identified

-           Possible CPD outputs as an integral part of other initiatives listed above.



2.         Begin to develop an international e-repository for 'local' research in relation to the learning generated about transformational, competency-based learning.


In particular in 2016-17, the ALBA programme will be encouraged to complete a review of its experience between 2009-17,  given the likely ceasing of the programme in the near future, and the need to capture the learning from this experience.  Other members will provide thinking partnership in the completion of the review as called upon by the ALBA team, and as reasonable and appropriate.


3.         A means to identify focal theme(s) for communal dialogue in subsequent years will

be explored and agreed by members of the working group, and a theme for 2017-18

will be agreed if appropriate.

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Replies to This Discussion

My name is Alice Anzoyo C. Dralu. I work at Tangaza University College as Associate Director of the Center for Leadership and Management and also worked with the SNL Competence-Based Degree program, from 2010 to the time of the closing of the partnership of the DePaul BA program in Tangaza. I am happy to be part of this team to see where next we can move on to.

I am Sr. Agnes the Director of Centre for leadership and management in Tangaza University College. We have been having a partnership with DePaul university for the past eight years where our students got their degrees from DePaul University School for New Learning. We have inherited a very rich methodology of competence base learning which we have adopted for our new program. I am particularly interested with this method of learning since in Kenya this is a very new methodology and I can see the difference between the students who have gone through this method of learning being quite different from the rest.


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