Competency-Based Education across the Life Span Webinar

AASCU Webinar: Competency-Based Education

Thursday, April 12, 2018 to Thursday, April 12, 2018
Washington, D.C.

About the Webinar top

In an era defined by state disinvestment, ambitious degree attainment goals, and calls to better define learning outcomes, competency-based education is increasingly advanced by policymakers and thought leaders as an educational model that should be explored by colleges and universities. Today, a small but growing number of state colleges and universities offer competency-based education programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, serving those from both traditional and non-traditional backgrounds. In addition, some students are coming from K-12 environments that have included the competency-based approach to education. 

This webinar, which includes educational leaders with extensive experience in competency-based education, will discuss why and how competency-based education is spreading through the K-12 section and what implications that will have for colleges and universities in the future.  It will also provide an example of an adult-serving competency-based education program and explore the challenges and successes of this type of program.

This webinar is free and open to the public. To join this webinar, please visit the following link:

This webinar has concluded. Here is the link to the webinar recording. 


  • Linda Schott, Ph.D., President, Southern Oregon University
  • Virgel Hammonds, Chief Learning Officer, KnowledgeWorks
  • Raymond Rice, Ph.D., President, University of Maine at Presque Isle

Linda SchottLinda Schott, Ph.D., President, Southern Oregon University
Dr. Schott grew up on a cattle ranch in the Texas Hill Country. After earning a Ph.D. in History and Humanities from Stanford University in 1986, Dr. Schott returned to Texas to begin her teaching career, spending almost two decades on the faculty of various Texas universities. Dr. Schott then transitioned to administration, first at Eastern Michigan University and then at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.  In 2012, Dr. Schott became the president of the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

After joining UMPI, Dr. Schott learned that Maine was transitioning all of its public K-12 schools to proficiency-based education.  She and the UMPI leadership team explored the implications of this transition and decided to transform UMPI into a proficiency-based university.  In 2014, UMPI was selected to join the first cohort of the Competency-Based Education Network, funded by the Lumina Foundation. Dr. Schott left UMPI in 2016 to become the president of Southern Oregon University and is now partnering with other educational leaders to advance this approach to education in Oregon.

Virgel HammondsVirgel Hammonds, Chief Learning Officer, KnowledgeWorks
As the Chief Learning Officer at KnowledgeWorks, Virgel Hammonds partners with national policymakers, learning organizations, and learning communities throughout the country to redesign learning structures to become more learner-centered and based on proficiency, rather than seat time. He also works with the KnowledgeWorks team to build tools, processes, and services that help districts design and implement a highly personalized learning infrastructure.

Hammonds previously served as the superintendent of RSU 2, a regional school district in Maine. There, he collaborated with five communities to develop and implement a curriculum designed to ensure mastery of standards by all students. Before serving as superintendent, Virgel was a high school principal at Lindsay Unified School District in California. With 4,100 K-12 students in the district, 100 percent qualified for free and reduced lunch. There, Hammonds helped implement a personalized learning model where “learners” don’t earn letter grades, but rather are awarded mastery, in ways that are empowering and motivating to each, for subjects in which they’ve proven to be proficient.

Raymond RiceRaymond J. Rice, Ph.D, President, University of Maine at Presque Isle
Dr. Rice, a graduate of the University of Connecticut, arrived in Presque Isle in August 1997 as an Assistant Professor of English; he was promoted to Associate Professor in 2002 and Professor in 2006. He has also served as the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs as well as the Chair of the College of Arts and Sciences.  

Dr. Rice has been involved in multiple campus-wide initiatives at Presque Isle towards the implementation of a proficiency based curriculum, the development of an academic learning commons, revisions to the General Education curriculum, and dual-enrollment early college partnerships with Aroostook County high schools. He conceived UMPI’s OpenU academic accessibility project and has been an advocate for increased and more effective pathways toward degree completion for first generation and under-served students his entire career.  Most recently, he coordinated the successful regional accreditation approval process for delivery of competency-based (CBE) degree-completion programs in Business Administration, soon to be expanded into other disciplines.




  • Thomas HarnischDirector of State Relations and Policy 478-4660