Competency-Based Learning at Empire State College

SUNY Empire is offering three competency-based learning courses to prospective and current students. Competency is defined as an individual’s application of related knowledge, skills and abilities to a specific function, usually within the context of his or her profession. Each competency-based course is broken into several segments, topics, learning activities and quizzes. Students are quizzed on their competencies throughout the term at their own pace, and are required to complete a final assessment which they can take up to three times. The successful completion of this assessment proves their competency in the subject.

The available competency based learning courses for the Spring 1 term are:

  • Introduction to Data Management Tools
  • Introduction to Object-oriented Programming: Java

Each competency-based course is worth four credits and may be rolled into a SUNY Empire degree program. These courses are offered through KNOWHow (login required), a digital platform specifically created for competency-based learning. Students will receive an orientation to the KNOWHow environment during the preview week for the associated term.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

The college calculates Student Academic Progress (SAP) at the end of each enrollment term to determine enrollment eligibility. Participation in a competency-based course impacts a student’s academic progress in the same manner as any other undergraduate course.

Information about Grade Point Average (GPA)

Students who master competency in a subject will receive a pass/no pass grade. Awarded competency is defined as meeting a grade of B- or higher. Although the pass/no pass grade is not included in a student’s GPA calculation, it does impact a student’s SAP and financial aid eligibility. For an explanation, see the SUNY Empire State College statements on Good Academic Standing.

How do I register?

Students interested in registering for available competency-based courses should contact their mentor or pre-enrollment advisor for more information.

For more information, watch this video on competency-based courses at SUNY Empire State College: