Skills-based education with a global focus

Programs built on research – not guesswork. Our academic model is specifically designed to prepare you for professional life.

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Degrees tailored to learner needs, based on employer demands

At Nexford University you learn skills you can put to work. Our programs bridge the gap between education and industry. To create our academic model, we analyzed 30 million job vacancies and surveyed the employers of 2.5 million people worldwide. We also aligned with professional business organizations, researched labor market data and examined official employability frameworks, such as Common Employability Skills and the Connecting Credentials Framework, to develop industry-relevant and future-focused competencies. The result? An immersive, competency-based education (CBE) experience with a learner’s chosen career at its heart.

What is competency-based education?

Competencies are skills and abilities – the things you need to know and be able to do. CBE is a program of study based on the mastery of specific skills tied to careers. Competency-based programs, therefore, award credentials based on demonstrated ability. That means our learners don’t just spend time memorizing theory. Instead, they also apply their knowledge to real-world situations. And because CBE measures learning not time, once learners prove their mastery, they can progress at pace.

The global career landscape is constantly changing, a trend that will only accelerate over time. The world is growing increasingly complex, and the demands on today’s professionals are increasing. To succeed in the global workforce learners need the kind of skills that enable them to confront change with confidence. For example, on our MBA program, one competency learners must master is information-driven decision-making. How? First, applying the tools and skills needed to collect, analyze and interpret data. Second, presenting their findings to improve performance.

What does CBE mean for you?

Skills employers need

Employers widely recognize the CBE approach because most corporations use it as the basis for promotions and advancement. To ensure we know the latest CBE developments and that we have a stake in its direction, we're a member of a network of colleges, organizations, and individuals advancing competency-based education: Competency Based Education Network.

Build your knowledge

Build on your knowledge and skills by mastering competencies at a flexible pace. Unlike institutions that rely on “direct assessment,” where “credit hours” are cut loose, we set out the average time that learners should expect to spend on a course. With our support, you can earn a high-quality degree, certificates, and digital badges – and move forward in life.

Learn by doing

CBE focuses on what you must know and be able to do to earn credentials, regardless of the amount of time spent. Progress is measured with reliably assessed objectives that learners have acquired skills in a particular discipline or field of study. No big exams at the end of a semester. No one-size-fits-all tests. We don’t have semesters. And you'll only take original, relevant assessments.

Nexford difference: a model that connects the dots

At Nexford, we use competency based education (CBE), where you gain knowledge – and apply it in life-like scenarios. Every course contains competencies, and these courses contain degree-level skills. Remember, competencies are practical skills tied to careers.

The main objective of Nexford courses is to help you grow and strengthen your set of skills – or competencies. Throughout each program, you develop a broad base of skills that are both relevant in today’s workplace and widely applicable. Each course, you build on what you learn in the courses before.

CBE isn’t vocational training – training for a specific profession – but an education that prepares learners to go down any number of professional paths.

You'll have a capacity to adapt and pivot, and walk away with highly portable skills – just some of the benefits of our learning approach. You won't study disciplines in isolation. There's no memory-testing abstract theories. You'll move through our programs based on how they perform on real-world tasks in an interactive, meaningful environment.

Institutional Learning Outcomes

Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) are the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and competencies embedded within every aspect of Nexford with the aim to inspire and enhance each learner's experience.

Every Nexford learner should be able to articulate, put into action, or utilize these ILOs during and after completing courses or programs and their learning experience.

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