Program Management for Faculty Development: Addressing the Changing Faculty Roles in a Direct Assessment Competency-Based Model

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Journal of Health Administration Education

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Competency -based education (CBE) models are gaining attention within higher education and continuing professional education in the healthcare sector. While there are many models of competency-based education, Walden Master of Health Administration CBE program uses a direct assessment model. The direct assessment CBE model is based on a truly student-centered and self-directed approach to learning. In a direct assessment program, credit hours or time are no longer a proxy for measuring student learning. In this model, rigorous assessments measure student learning and validate competency achievement. Students are in the driver's seat in terms of pacing their work efforts, and there is a non-linear approach to selecting the competencies they choose to complete. This has resulted in a very unique and personalized engagement with faculty based content areas of strength or limitations as informed by their prior knowledge and work experience. The Walden University direct assessment model presents challenges for faculty who have primarily taught in more traditional, structured programs with specified sequencing of content that is delivered according to structure driven by faculty. This article describes the approach to faculty development that Walden University's Master of Health Administration CBE has implemented and how it has been utilized to address those challenges. Recent research on the faculty development needs anticipated by faculty development practitioners and the C-BEN Quality Framework are introduced as a starting point to guide a program management approach for faculty development as more healthcare administration programs implement competency-based curricula.