Nicolet College President Kate Ferrel accepts the Open Book Award from CBExchange.

Nicolet College Honored with CBExchange Award


Nicolet College President Kate Ferrel receives the Open Book Award in appreciation of the transformational work Nicolet College is doing in the area of competency-based education (CBE).

Nicolet College has been a leader in the competency-based education movement since 2017 with nine programs falling under the highly learner-centric model. This innovative approach to learning and instruction focuses on students’ abilities to demonstrate certain skills and knowledge, rather than requiring certain amounts of class time or other traditional academic requirements.

Ferrel received the award last week at the national Competency-based Education Network conference titled CBExchange. This award recognizes Nicolet College’s commitment to the movement and cites the College as “consistently being an open book so national colleagues can benefit from Nicolet’s great work.” Over the years, Nicolet College has hosted hundreds of visitors from higher education from across the country as a way to learn more about how to develop and scale CBE. Most recently, Nicolet College hosted reporters from California who investigated Nicolet’s model, exploring the potential adaptation within California Community Colleges.  

While this award was presented to President Ferrel, she is quick to direct all the credit to the Nicolet College community who have worked exceedingly hard to bring this forward-thinking learner and employer model to the Nicolet College district, and beyond.

Nicolet College provides education at a flexible pace. In addition to traditional fall and spring start times, students can also begin classes at other times throughout the year. The next CBE start date is November 6, 2023. Call Nicolet College at 715-365-4493 or visit to learn more about enrolling.

In the photo above: Nicolet College President Kate Ferrel accepts the Open Book Award from CBExchange.