Colleges Visit Lakeshore Technical College to Gain Insight on Competency-based Education




As recognition grows in Lakeshore Technical College’s expanding delivery of competency-based education, the college is experiencing an increasing number of visits from other colleges interested in adopting or expanding the education delivery model on their campuses. The college was visited recently by Umpqua Community College, located in Oregon, and Northeast Iowa Community College.

“Moving programs to competency-based education has proven successful for many of our programs,” says Vice President of Instruction Dr. Meredith Sauer. “We realized our traditional schedules with rigid requirements for students to be on campus were barriers to potential students who were working and/or had family commitments. Competency-based education provides flexibility so college can fit around their work and personal commitments.”

The Competency-Based Education Network defines competency-based education as an approach to learning that emphasizes what people can do, not the amount of time they spend in a classroom. Lakeshore also describes it as a model offering students the ability to learn when they want to, progress at their own pace, and receive personalized coaching and support. 

Since moving to competency-based education delivery, Sauer says Lakeshore’s medical coder program enrollment has increased 100%, with welding and auto collision also experiencing significant increases of 60% and 77% respectively.

Competency-based education, or CBE, is becoming more common in higher education across the U.S. and according to a 2020 survey report from the American Institute for Research, was available at 128 institutions, with each offering at least one program. Lakeshore began offering programs through CBE in 2020; it will be offering more than 50% of its programs through the model when the fall 2024 semester begins. 

Visiting Lakeshore from Northeast Iowa and Umpqua were instructors, deans, and success coaches. Northeast Iowa, which currently offers welding and business management as CBE programs, observed how the model operates in manufacturing and technology programs at Lakeshore, engaging students in both in-person, hands-on learning and online coursework. Umpqua was interested in the potential benefits of offering programs through CBE, though does not currently deliver any programs through the method.

More information about Lakeshore programs, including those offered through CBE, can be found at


Lakeshore Technical College main sign


About Lakeshore Technical College

Lakeshore Technical College is a comprehensive community and technical college educating more than 9,000 students annually. Students enroll at Lakeshore to master real-world, employable career skills and start their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. Lakeshore faculty and staff are focused on providing each student an individualized learning experience.
Lakeshore Technical College is a nationally recognized two-year college. The college was ranked #2 in the nation by Washington Monthly, #17 in the nation by Forbes, #20 in the nation by, a top-150 two-year college by the Aspen Institute, a 2024 Bellwether Award winner, and named the 2021 Large Business/Industry of the Year by the Chamber of Manitowoc County.
Approximately 800 students graduate from Lakeshore each year, and associate degree graduates report earning a median salary of $55,698 within six months of graduating. In addition to the Cleveland campus, Lakeshore educates students at learning campuses in downtown Manitowoc and downtown Sheboygan. Classes are also offered at additional sites throughout the district. Visit Lakeshore at