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Competency-Based Courses

Competency-based courses (CBC) are designed for students who have already developed a competency in a particular subject matter, either from previous coursework or life experience.  However, some students may desire to take a CBC even without previous experience or knowledge about the subject because they need to complete it as a pre-requisite for other courses and may need to do so more quickly than is possible with the online or face-to-face version.

The course assessments are administered and graded online.  You may choose to immediately test out of any modules for which you feel you have established competency and/or spend as much time as you need to study the material prior to taking any of these assessments.  You will have three attempts for each module.  If you fail to pass any module within three attempts, you must take the course in a face-to-face or online format.  CBC courses are offered online without the aid of an instructor.

Benefits of a CBC Course:

  • Provides a way for students with experience or knowledge about a particular course to test out of the course work.
  • This course can be an independent study course for someone without prior knowledge or experience.  For example, CBC courses could be taken during your off-track.
  • The course is graded on a Pass/Fail basis.
  • Students have three opportunities to pass each module exam.  If you do not pass the module on the first or second attempt, you will be directed to additional learning material in the on-line text before making the third and final attempt.
  • CBC credits are added to your semester credit load just as another course.
  • You can enroll in a CBC course at any time during the semester; however, you must allow enough time to complete all modules before the end of the semester. 

NOTE:  All university-established academic deadlines apply to CBC courses, just as with any other course offered in a different format.

While any student may register for a CBC, such courses might not be best suited for the first semester of your college education.  CBC's generally require a significant amount of time and commitment, and new college students may find that completing such courses on their own is somewhat overwhelming.  Students best served by the CBC's usually have prior experience in the subject matter or have already completed several semesters of university-level face-to-face classes or comparable online courses.

For additional information, please refer to the list of frequently-asked questions below.

Competency-Based Courses

ECON 150

Initial Contact:   Sister Natalie Whittaker; whittakern@byui.edu; (208) 496-9846

These courses are designed with 6 module assessments (one for each unit covered in a typical face-to-face course).  Credit will be awarded on a pass/fail basis. You must successfuly pass each of the 6 modules within three attempts (if needed) with 70% or better to receive credit. If you do not pass each module, you will fail the course, which will affect your GPA.

The cost of each three-credit course is covered by the regular tuition for a full-time student.  If you are not a full-time student, you will pay the regular tuition cost per credit. There is no pressure on your part to participate; however if you feel you could succeed in this particular academic environment please contact Sister Natalie Whittaker for further assistance.

ECON 151

Initial Contact:   Sister Natalie Whittaker; whittakern@byui.edu; (208) 496-9846

These courses are designed with 12 module assessments (one for each unit covered in a typical face-to-face course).  Credit will be awarded on a pass/fail basis. You must successfuly pass each of the 12 modules within three attempts (if needed) with 70% or better to receive credit. If you do not pass each module, you will fail the course, which will affect your GPA.

The cost of each three-credit course is covered by the regular tuition for a full-time student.  If you are not a full-time student, you will pay the regular tuition cost per credit. There is no pressure on your part to participate; however if you feel you could succeed in this particular academic environment please contact Sister Natalie Whittaker for further assistance.

PSYCH 111

Initial Contact:   Sister Debbie Willis; willisd@byui.edu; (208) 496-9855

This course is designed with 16 module assessments (one for each unit covered in a typical face-to-face course). Credit will be awarded on a pass/fail basis. You must successfuly pass each of the 16 modules within three attempts (if needed) with 70% or better to receive credit. If you do not pass each module, you will fail the course, which will affect your GPA.

The cost of this three-credit course is covered by the regular tuition for a full-time student. If you are not a full-time student, you will pay the regular tuition cost per credit.  There is no pressure on your part to participate; however if you feel you could succeed in this particular academic environment, please contact Sister Debbie Willis for further assistance.

Frequently-Asked Questions

What if I don’t pass the assessment?

A student will have three opportunities to pass an assessment (module). If you do not pass on the first or second attempt, you will be directed after each attempt to additional on-line study material. If on the third attempt you do not receive 70% or better, then you will fail the course and you will not be able to register for that same CBC again. You would then be required to take the online or face-to-face option the next time you register for the course.

Is there a specific order I have to take the assessments?

No. You can take the assessments when you want, and you can take them in any order as long as you complete all module assessments by the end of the semester. However it is strongly recommended that you take them in order as each module builds upon information in the prior modules.

What if I pass all modules but one?

Unfortunately, a student would not receive credit for the course. You would need to enroll in the course, either face-to-face or online, in order to receive a grade and credit for that course. A student will not be able to enroll in the same CBC course again.

So what happens if I don’t know the material as well as I thought?

Fortunately, because the course is developed as an independent study course as well, a student can still learn the material through his or her own efforts. Electronic resources are available for students to study and learn the material they don’t know. A student may also use these resources to study the material in the case of a retake.

What courses are offered?

As of right now, the only courses offered are PSYCH 111 (Intro of Psychology) and ECON 150 (Microeconomics) and 151 (Macroeconomics). However, more courses are in development to be offered as CBC soon.

When can I enroll in a CBC?

You can enroll in a CBC at any time during the semester, but you must allow enough time to pass all modules before the end of the semester. In other words, it’s not a good idea to register for the class when there are only two weeks left in the semester.

How do I enroll?

In order to enroll you must contact Sister Natalie Whittaker at whittakern@byui.edu; 208-496-9846 for ECON 150 or 151 or Sister Debbie Willis willisd@byui.edu; 208-496-9855 for PSYCH 111. Email or visit with them in order to discuss the option of the CBC.

How is it graded?

Grades will be given as Pass/Fail. If you demonstrate 70% or better competency for each of the modules, you will be given a Pass grade, which does not affect your GPA. If you do not score 70% or better after three attempts (if needed) on each of the assessments, you will fail the course, which does affect your GPA.

Will help be available to study/learn?

Tutoring will be available for students enrolled in a CBC, however instructor help will not be available.

Will a CBC count towards my semester credit total?

Yes. If you are enrolled in 9 credits and take a 3 credit CBC, you will technically have 12 credits and be considered a full-time student.

Will I be charged for enrolling in a CBC?

No, unless you are not a full-time student. The cost will be the same as regular tuition.