Incremental Credentialing Video

Credential As You Go is catalyzing redesign and integration of credentialing systems across states, higher education, and third-party providers, including employers, to recognize all learners for what they know and can do.  

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Improving Education and Employment Outcomes For All Learners

Moving to a nationally adopted incremental credentialing ecosystem that improves education and employment outcomes through an array of credentials, including degrees, that document what learners know and can do.  

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2023 Cohort

In 2023, 28 + additional organizations have joined Credential As You Go, doubling the numbers of organizations working to design and implement incremental credentials.  

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Our Research

Research is a key component of the Credential As You Go initiative. The purpose of the research component is to assess the promise of system- and institution-level policies and processes as they translate into implementation of incremental credentials to further targeted, meaningful postsecondary learner outcomes.  

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Credential As You Go

Credential As You Go is a movement to develop a nationally adopted incremental credentialing system that improves education and employment outcomes.  

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The Current State of Credentialing

Degree-centric Postsecondary System

Equity Imperative

Emerging Workforce Skills Agenda

Degree-centric Postsecondary System

Our current system does not recognize partial degrees, leaving many Americans without formal recognition of their knowledge and skills.

Current system emphasizes 4 DEGREE TYPES: associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate / professional

There are 40.4 MILLION individuals with some college/no credential

National Student Clearinghouse, 2023

With NO CREDENTIAL, people lack recognition of learning – hindering employment and further education

Equity Imperative

Credentialing is an equity issue.

Less than 30% OF DEGREES are awarded to people of color

U.S. Census, 2021

Among Black adults, 18% have some college/no degree – the HIGHEST PERCENT of all groups

U.S. Census, 2021

Black learners carry the HIGHEST DEBT LOAD across population groups

Hanson, 2020

Across all groups, Latinos/Latinas have the LARGEST PROPORTION of adults – 57% – with no college experience

U.S. Census, 2021

Rapid Credential Expansion

The U.S. credential landscape is increasingly confusing and chaotic.

There are 1,076,358 UNIQUE CREDENTIALS in the U.S.

Credential Engine, 2022

The Credential Registry provides open tools to publish competency and skill data in CTDL-ASN. There are currently over 425 competency frameworks in the Registry containing over 44,500 competencies

Credential Engine, 2023


Credential Engine, 2021

The number of OPEN BADGES AWARDED 2018 to 2020 nearly doubled – from 24 million to 43 million

Gallagher, 2021

Emerging Workforce Skills Agenda

Employers increasingly need signals of skills.

59% of employers identified UPSKILLING AND RESKILLING as top priority

Sumtotal, 2021

55% – 59% of employers report TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY SKILLS are most important when hiring

Advance CTE, 2021

Employers report REDUCING DEGREE REQUIREMENTS for middle-skill (46%) and high-skill (31%) positions

Harvard Business Review, 2022

There are 1,057 COMPETENCY-BASED PROGRAMS across undergraduate and graduate programs in the U.S.

AIR, 2020

Moving the Needle

To transform the U.S. legacy degree system to a nationally recognized incremental credentialing system, Credential As You Go focuses on nine bodies of work


Incremental Credentialing Framework

The incremental credentialing process formally credentials learning that individuals acquire along the way so that they can be recognized for employment and further education. The six approaches provide ways to develop and implement incremental credentials.


Leadership Organizations

Improving Education and Employment Outcomes

Credential As You Go Video: Transforming the Nation's Credentialing System!