The University of New England is one of nine colleges selected to participate in a incubator program that will focus on competency-based education models.

The Next Generation Learning Challenges Initiative, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, selected the Biddeford-based university to take part in the 2014 Breakthrough Models Incubator in Washington, D.C., in July.

Participants will focus on innovative competency-based education models that reward students for skills they acquire, not just for time spent in class.

Each incubator team will include the president, provost, chief financial officer, chief information officer and at least one faculty member. They will craft a new degree sequence rooted in competency-based education that can be ready for student enrollment by 2015.

University President Danielle Ripich said UNE has “never done business as usual” and is committed to developing new models of learning.

“Accelerating trends in technology and globalization demand a bold new approach to education in the 21st century,” Ripich said in a prepared statement.

Other institutions participating in the incubator include Antioch University, Austin Community College, Central Wyoming College, Empire State College — SUNY, Excelsior College, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, Paul Smith’s College and the University of Maryland — University College.

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:[email protected]Twitter: grahamgillian