Selection & success: A study of student enrollment and academic performance in competency-based higher education courses


This project looks to help in the building of a more robust postsecondary CBE research base by exploring how students select into postsecondary CBE courses and how successful they are in those courses.

Key research questions include:

  • What background characteristics increase the probability of student enrollment in competency-based college courses?
  • What background characteristics are associated with the academic performance of students in competency-based college courses?
  • Controlling for other factors, what is the class-level academic performance of students enrolled in competency-based courses relative to the academic performance of students in similar courses offered in traditionally structured face-to-face formats?


Project research questions will be answered using data from Learn on Demand (LOD) courses within the Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS), which are traditional KCTCS courses redesigned from a competency-based framework. Study methods include logistic regression, hierarchical modeling, and inverse propensity weights matching.


Results from the study are presented in three briefs: 


Willis Jones, University of Kentucky