Columbia State Receives CBE Grant From JP Morgan Chase

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Dec. 20, 2019) - - - Columbia State Community College, along with Nashville State Community College, Lipscomb University and the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, was awarded a $250,000 grant from JP Morgan Chase to develop a competency-based academic program in information technology.

“Competency-based education focuses on mastery of competencies rather than on how many hours, semesters or years a student spends in school,” said Deepa Janakiraman, Columbia State program director and associate professor of computer information technology. “The CBE model will not only offer a new pathway for our traditional students, but will appeal and expand the participation of under-represented populations in IT.”

The program allows Columbia State to deliver advanced IT course work in a modular fashion centered on completion of course competencies rather than completion of a traditional 15-week course. The competencies can then be stacked towards completion of a full for-credit course, as well as a program of study for a technical certificate or an associate degree.  

The initial step was to train instructors and staff on CBE through a specialized design institute hosted by Lipscomb’s College of Professional Studies. Columbia State  faculty and staff members who completed the program are Daniel Devers, associate professor of computer information technology; Janakiraman; Michell Jaworski, director of student services at the Williamson Campus; Glenna Winters, professional and instructional development specialist; and Armando Fortuna, computer information technology adjunct faculty member. Each of the participants was awarded Lipscomb’s certificate in CBE program design at a ceremony at the Nashville Chamber of Commerce.

The next steps will be to apply the skills learned toward the development of the first CBE information technology course at Columbia State. 

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