The Art and Science of Designing Competencies

Chris Sturgis

This brief, published in 2012, details what makes a “good” competency and how education leaders and reformers can begin thinking about, designing, and implementing competency-based education.

Competency-based education, based on learning objectives that empower students, requires thoughtful design and implementation. Powerful competencies must include both learning objectives and clear performance criteria that allow students to identify their performance levels and what they need to improve upon.



By maintaining a laser focus on learning, allowing time to be a variable and powerful competencies to set the bar, we can create an education system that produces high achievement for students from all income levels, across all racial and ethnic communities.