Resource Management – Key for CBE

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Continuing in our twelve-part blog series designed to help students know if enrolling in a Competency Based Education (CBE) program is a good decision for them, today we visit “Resource Management “.

The twelve factors that will be explored are experience, motivation, availability of time, support, CBE program knowledge, educational background, technology skills, financial assistance, reflective attributes, action attributes, academic skills, and resource management.

Resource Management – Part 12 of A Dozen Things To Think About Before Starting A CBE Program


To be successful in a CBE program a student needs to manage several types of resources.  These may include managing their time, coordinating support from family, fostering collaboration with employers, maintaining an appropriate level of personal energy, regulating their technology usage, and monitoring their finances.

All persons have 24 hours in a day, yet some persons seem to be more productive with that time than others.  The key is managing your time well. Straighterline provides the following eight time management tips for adult college students: (1) Establish priorities. (2) Know yourself. (3) Sleep.  Be Healthy. (4) Build in flexibility. (5) Let the little things add up. (6) Know when it’s survival time. (7) Know when it’s celebration time. (8) Compromise.

While CBE programs may reduce the amount of time required for degree completion, there will still be a substantial investment of time from the student.  In order for a student to have enough time, they will need support from their family.  This may be in the form of a spouse who is willing to give up several “date nights” or from children who need to respect the time that mom is studying and not interrupt her.  CBE students need to have a conversation with their significant others about this reality.Resource Management

Just as family members need to be supportive, so do employers.  Not only may employers need to schedule to allow the student to have some time off, the employer may need to be cooperative to provide access to information that the CBE student can use to demonstrate and document their prior knowledge and abilities.

CBE students need to maintain their own level of energy.  Studying is hard work and mental exhaustion is real.  Students should plan to manage their commitments for continuing their education in light of their other responsibilities.  Students should also regulate their technology usage, especially in light of social media.  It is tempting for students to waste time in social media.  That is not to say a student should not have a social media presence, but they need to pre-determine the amount of time per day they can afford to spend on it.

Finally CBE students need to monitor their financial resources.  Be sure to use the cost calculators provided by the school so that you know the full projected cost of degree completion in the CBE program.  A student who starts a degree program, receives a student loan, and then does not complete the program is in a worse state than they were before enrolling.  At that point they have no credential to improve their employment yet they have student loan debt to re-pay.

This blog series is provided by Dr. Mac Adkins who is the CEO and Founder of SmarterServices which is the provider of the CBE Readiness Indicator which is powered by the SmarterMeasure Assessment Engine.    Mac holds a PhD in Educational Leadership and for the past three decades has served in leadership positions at multiple universities and for the past fourteen years has served as the CEO and Founder of SmarterServices.  During this period of time SmarterServices has measured levels of student readiness of over 3.8 million students from over 500 colleges and universities. 

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