About Competency-Based Education

The competency-based education model has been a cornerstone of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance’s program since our founding in 1948. Our Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential is grounded in 10 core competencies that were identified by the nonprofit workforce as critical to nonprofit employment success.

Competency-based learning uses an evidence-based assessment model, rather than grade point average, to determine whether core competencies have been attained. Experiential learning requires students to demonstrate mastery of academic material by successfully undertaking a real-life application of the theory or process studied. Students completing the requirements of the CNP credential demonstrate this mastery through the successful completion of an internship and other applied experience. Students also maintain an online portfolio throughout the program, which is assessed before the CNP credential is awarded.

Access the 2011 competency re-validation report: The Skills the Nonprofit Sector Requires of its Managers and Leaders