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Competency-Based Education

Earn College Credits Faster

You Can Accelerate Your Degree with Competency-Based Education

You want to get ahead in your career, but juggling the competing demands of a job, personal responsibilities, and college can be tough. At Northern Essex, we are introducing a new option that can make completing college courses – and getting ahead in your career – a little easier.

One Size Fits You

With Competency-Based Education (CBE) at NECC, you can complete courses online when they fit with your busy schedule. You can move quickly through the material you already know, and take more time to focus on what you need to learn. With flexible course start dates and a learning coach to help you stay on track, you can complete the classes on your own schedule, at a pace that works for you.

With CBE at NECC You Can:

  • Use the knowledge you have to accelerate your learning
  • Eliminate the weekly deadlines that are typical in traditional courses
  • Receive mentoring from a learning coach to help you stay on track
  • Save money by enrolling at a community college
  • Learn knowledge and skills aligned with employer needs

Relationship-based Success

You can forge meaningful relationships with faculty and staff, who truly care about your success. Faculty and staff engage with you in diverse and creative ways that foster your achievement and distinguish NECC from other, less personal online education experiences.

Is CBE for you?

If you are motivated, can learn independently, have strong self-discipline and time management skills, and are computer savvy, you can succeed in a CBE course.

More Information

For more information, contact the CBE Learning Coach, Ada Greenberg, at 978-556-3034 or cbe@necc.mass.edu.


Choose from the individual courses below to help you get ahead in your career or work toward a Certificate in Computer Applications:

Computer Applications Certificate:

CIS 110 – Computer Applications
CIS 112 – Integrated Computer Applications
CIS 113 – Data Management
CIS 114 – Help Desk & Soft Skills
CIS 130 – Web Development I
CTN 110 – Introduction to Information Technology
ENG 101 – English Composition I

Additional Courses:

ART 109 – Two Dimensional Foundations
ART 140 – Computer Graphics


Northern Essex Community College is participating in a U.S. Department of Education Experimental Sites Initiative related to financial aid disbursements for students enrolled in Competency Based Education (CBE) courses. The Computer Applications Certificate program qualifies for the experiment. If you are enrolled in this program, have applied for financial aid, and are taking any CBE courses, you might be part of this experiment. Contact the Financial Aid Office for details.