Moving from a Degree-Centric Postsecondary System to an Incremental Credentialing System: What Happens to Learners’ Financing Options?

Incremental Credentialing Key Work

Reports from Credential As You Go portray the learn-and-work ecosystem in new and useful ways for states, institutions, and alliances

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY — August 15, 2023) Credential as You Go, a national initiative that promotes the growth of incremental credentialing, has announced the release of two companion reports: Policies & Initiatives Related to Credential As You Go: Colorado, New York, and North Carolina (”state inventory” report), and Mapping Key Learn-And-Work Ecosystem Initiatives/Alliances (“mapping” report).

The state inventory report identifies 27 efforts in three states that are working to strengthen components of the learn-and-work ecosystem. The states — Colorado, New York, and North Carolina — all are participating in the Credential As You Go initiative to improve and better connect the nation’s disparate systems of education, training, and workforce preparation.

“We believe this is the first state inventory of its kind, and there are many significant early lessons learned from this inventory of efforts — for the three states and for the broader learn-and-work ecosystem,” said Holly Zanville, research professor at George Washington University and co-lead at Credential As You Go.

The state inventory report informed the mapping report, a prototype effort to map alignment among the many national initiatives at work in the three states. The Learn & Work Ecosystem Library, which is affiliated with Credential As You Go, was used to collect information on 11 key national initiatives and alliances. Credential As You Go then surveyed representatives of each of the 11 to learn more about these key efforts and determine their most and least common features.

The two reports portray the credentialing landscape in new and useful ways — for states, institutions, and the many groups working to improve the learn-and-work ecosystem.

“We learned that the initiatives and alliances have more in common than less; that the landscape, though ripe for greater collaboration, faces key challenges, and that there is growing need for information on key efforts working to improve the learn-and-work ecosystem,” said Nan Travers, Director for the Center for Leadership in Credentialing Learning at SUNY Empire State University and co-lead for Credential As You Go.

“We also validated a  growing role for centralized information resources such as the Learn & Work Ecosystem Library,” Zanville noted. “They can help inform the field about significant developments underway to improve the learn-and-work ecosystem.”

Download the two new reports here.

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About Credential As You Go
Credential As You Go is a national movement to transform and facilitate the development of a nationally adopted incremental credentialing ecosystem that improves education and employment outcomes for all learners. Credential As You Go is funded through the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education (Grant R305T210063) and a Walmart grant.

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Lucia Weathers
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Improving Education and Employment Outcomes