L&C to Launch Competency Based Education in Welding This Spring

Article by: Laura Inlow, L&C Marketing and PR,

GODFREY – Now students can earn a degree based on their skills, rather than their time in the classroom, with Lewis and Clark Community College’s new Competency-Based Education (CBE) track in Welding Technology.

Starting in Spring 2022, Welding Technology will be offered through two different tracks – traditional and CBE. Traditional classes will continue as they always have, with new courses enrolling every 8-16 weeks. Competency-based courses will be broken up by 3-4 competencies each rather than a certain number of class weeks, so students can work through as quickly as they would like, or move at their own pace.

Instead of three opportunities to start a course per year (Spring, Summer and Fall), CBE courses will enroll at 0 weeks, 4 weeks, 8 weeks and 16 weeks.

“CBE allows students to add skills on their own schedule,” said Welding Technology Coordinator Travis Jumper. “Faster students might be able to knock out a class in as little as four weeks.”

Not only do students control the pace, but also the class times. With an instructor on campus from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 9-5 pm. Fridays, CBE students can work on skills anytime, and have plenty of options to test their competencies with L&C instructors.

“Anyone can enroll in a CBE course, but the flexibility makes it particularly well-structured for busy working adults who otherwise might not be able to continue their education,” Jumper said. “Because they can go at their own pace, they can also potentially get to work sooner than the two years it takes to complete the traditional program.”

The program, which is enrolling now for spring, is the college’s first official foray into CBE. Vice President of Academic Affairs Jill Lane said it puts Lewis and Clark on the forefront of an innovative push to streamline workforce education.

“I believe we’re the first community college to offer general education in this format so students can complete the entire program based on their competencies; not just the welding courses,” she said.

In addition to welding courses, the Associate in Applied Science degree in Welding Technology (60 credit hours total) requires 3-5 credit hours in math or physical/life science electives, 3 credit hours in a humanities/fine arts elective, 3 credit hours in a social/behavioral science elective, ENGL 131 (First-year English) or ENGL 137 (Technical Writing) and SPCH 131 (Public Speaking) or SPCH 145 (Public and Private Communications).

“The associate degree in Welding Technology leads to management positions and is a good fit for those hoping to land a role as a team lead,” Jumper said. “There will be plenty of retirements in the next three to four years, contributing to a dire need for skilled workers in this trade.”

The program also offers numerous certificates that do not require general education courses, perfect for getting started in the field or for building a welder’s resume:

  • Welding Technology – Certificate of Proficiency (50 credit hours)
  • Production/Fabrication Welding – Certificate of Proficiency (39 credit hours)
  • Basic Welding – Certificate of Completion (12 credit hours)
  • Gas Tungsten Arc & Pipe Welding – Certificate of Completion (16 credit hours)
  • General Welding ­– Certificate of Completion (13 credit hours)
  • Shielded Metal Arc Welding – Certificate of Completion (19 credit hours)
  • Structural Welding – Certificate of Completion (26 credit hours)
  • Testing & Inspection in Welding – Certificate of Completion (11 credit hours)
  • TIG Welding – Certificate of Completion (11 credit hours)
  • Wire-Feed Welding – Certificate of Completion (20 credit hours)

To learn more about CBE in Welding Technology, contact Jumper at or call/text Advisor Matt Murphy at (618) 468-5256.