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

Participant Profile


Credit for Prior Learning Assessment Network (C-PLAN), Minnesota State Colleges & Universities



State system of higher education


St. Paul, Minnesota



Implementation stage & efforts to date

Design stage

  • Policy-setting at state and/or institutional level
  • Pathway efforts for learners 
  • Credit for Prior Learning Assessment Network (C-PLAN), a collaborative supporting 7 universities and 26 colleges in CPL policy and practice implementation
  • Integration  or  restructuring efforts between noncredit and credit units
  • Certificates to Credits (C-to-C) piloted in 2019 by faculty developing rubrics and checklists for reviewing and assessing community- and work-based training and certificates, has been adapted by several campuses to develop noncredit to credit pathways, and applied in a number of projects, including All Learning Counts and an initiative with Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and Coursera (7 colleges mapped professional certificates to course equivalencies)
  • Data collection to incorporate non-degree data into campus and/or state data systems
  • Planning efforts to move into incremental credentialing
  • Participating in projects addressing alternative credentialing and in efforts to embed industry certification into traditional degree programs

Goals for participation

  • Use CAYG initiative to help organize our experiences at the design level, especially to continue building on noncredit to credit pathway work (NCAL), to (1) develop consistent and transparent crosswalks and pathways that foster completion, ease transfer, and alleviate inequities; (2) create structure to support/sustain faculty engagement in this work via recognition, incentives, and professional development;  (3) strengthen data collection and reporting to effectively measure student outcomes in postsecondary participation, persistence, and completion, particularly in underrepresented populations. 
  • Start with 2 colleges/ 2 pathway, to continue Noncredit to Credit Alignment Lab (NCAL) work: Pine Technical and Community College: Early Childhood Education + Minnesota State and Technical College’ pathways in Leadership Training to Business Degree or Individualized Studies Degree (AAS) and Training in Leadership, Communication, and Computers to specialized for-credit Certificate. For the CAYG project, M State will focus on the design of modules for training in leadership to map to specialized for-credit certificates. 
  • Identify universities to explore pathways to bachelor’s degrees in Applied Leadership and Individualized Studies; identify  universities in the system to work with on CPL pathways to be included in formal Transfer Pathways framework; and ensure licensing agencies, employers, and associations understand and support CPL credentialing pathways. 
  • Continue C-PLAN’s communication and collaborative efforts with external organizations such as Minnesota Department of Education and Transforming Early Childhood Workforce.

Associated Case Studies

Improving Education and Employment Outcomes