Credential As You Go Co-Leads Nan Travers and Holly Zanville on EdUp Experience Podcast

About Credential As You Go


New Approaches to Credentialing

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

Credential As You Go focuses on building an incremental credentialing system, recognizing that many types of quality credentials (degrees, certificates, industry certifications, licenses, badges, microcredentials) document an individual’s learning, and credentials are awarded by many types of providers including community and technical colleges, four-year colleges and universities, third-party organizations, employers, military, and state licensing boards. 

The Credential As You Go initiative includes many components needed to create a nationally recognized incremental credentialing system: a national campaign to build understanding and support, research to build the evidence for the new system, training, and technical assistance, equity and inclusion, policy changes, trust in the quality of incremental credentials, and building interconnections with related initiatives. 

Phases of Work

The approach builds on a Phase 1 (2018-2020) planning project led by State University System of New York faculty from two- and four-year institutions (assisted by a grant from Lumina Foundation). They explored the feasibility of a nationally recognized transferable incremental credentialing system by conducting an environmental scan of nearly 90 initiatives across 41 states designed to serve students better and capture what they know. Results indicated that some states, higher education systems, and institutions were already moving toward incremental credentialing, but in different ways. Patterns of credentialing were identified and used to inform the emerging Framework of Incremental Credentialing, to be tested for usefulness at the undergraduate and graduate level in three states (Colorado, New York, and North Carolina) in Phase 2 (2021-2024) (supported by a grant from the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education funds). A companion effort, the Learn & Work Ecosystem Library, developed during Phase 2 in tandem with Credential As You Go. The digital, wiki model library collects, curates, and coordinates information resources to bring clarity to the evolving learn-and-work ecosystem. A Phase 3 effort (2022-2023) focused on systems change for expansion and sustainability of incremental credentials (assisted by a grant from Walmart).



Credential As You Go is focusing on ten bodies of work. The Cornerstones lay out the objective, principles, vision, and mission of the national initiative.

Leadership Team

Team members bring a wealth of expertise and draw on extensive experiences and networks.

National Advisory Board

A 125+ advisory board representing postsecondary institutions and systems, industry and employers, military, accreditors, philanthropy, and research and policy think tanks are advising the initiative.


Key Terms

Leadership Organizations

Improving Education and Employment Outcomes