Postsecondary credentials – degrees, certificates, industry certifications, and more – are the currency through which skills and knowledge are recognized. They allow people to access jobs, education programs, and new career pathways. But there’s little clarity about what credentials mean – their value, their quality, and how they connect to one another. That can make them difficult for both employers and learners to use.
Luckily, an array of recent credentialing innovations means that more equitable paths to and through higher education are closer at hand. Produced with the support of the Lumina Foundation, five new workgroup reports show how these efforts can come together.
Connecting Credentials is a collaborative project of 120 organizations aimed at creating a better credentialing system. Building on the initiative's 2016 Action Plan, over one hundred Connecting Credentials stakeholders came together this summer from across the country to attack some of the thorniest credentialing issues facing American learners.
How can employers know what skills to ask for, and how can learners demonstrate them? How can we make it easier for learners to show what they know – wherever they learned it? How can new types of credentials help Americans of all ages build skills more quickly, and get into better jobs faster? And how will employers know which new credentials to trust?
A credentialing ecosystem that recognizes more types of learning – and which allows Americans to connect more easily to next steps – means better outcomes for learners and employers alike. We hope you'll read our report – organized under the mission of "Making 'All Learning Counts' a Reality" – and the others in the series. And stay tuned for more content from the workgroup that we at the Center on Education & Skills helped to lead.