Uncategorized | January 13, 2022

Incremental Credentialing Model

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An Incremental Credentialing Model was developed through an 18-month planning, research, and testing project supported in 2019-2021 through a Lumina Foundation grant: Credential As You Go, Phase One.

The Incremental Credentialing Model was developed from the results of the environmental scan, prototyping, and feedback from national leaders which took place during the Credential As You Go: Phase One initiative. The Model provides five patterns of credentialing that can be used to design incremental credentials. Further work on the Model during Phase Two will include strategies, tools, and resources to develop incremental credentials across all sectors. The Model also includes auto-awarding of credentials to reduce the additional step students typically go through to “apply” for a credential or graduation.

The current version has a higher education focus, but will be expanded as the work continues to provide for learner and employer perspectives.

Learn As You Go
Incremental credentials stand on their own, unconnected to a degree, but prepare individuals for up-skilling, re-skilling, or developing new skills in specific workplace areas.


Add On As You Go
Incremental credentials are obtained for specializations that add onto a degree pathway, but may not necessarily be planning in the pathway.


Stack As You Go
Incremental credentials add together or stack into larger credentials and degrees, and are planned into credentialing pathways.


Transfer As You Go
Incremental credentials are built to transfer across institutions and are a potential cost-sharing mechanism (students cross-register to another institution to pick up a specialty that the home institution does not offer).


Partner As You Go
Incremental credentials prepare for and include field-expected credentials for work, as well as work-related credentials that are accepted into degree or other credentialing pathways, developed in conjunction with business/industry partner(s).

Improving Education and Employment Outcomes