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

Participant Profile


D’Youville University



Private university


Buffalo, New York



Implementation stage & efforts to date

Early stage of implementation

  • Pathway efforts for learners
  • Planning efforts to move into incremental credentialing
  • Participating in efforts to embed industry certification into traditional degree program
  • Use of  educational platforms in academic programming
  • Working with third party groups or intermediaries

Goals for participation

  • University has made considerable progress applying the CAYG Framework principles at the upper- end educational spectrum (post-graduate certificates, Master’s and Doctoral level degrees). Does not yet have as robust of an infrastructure of credentialed offerings at entry- and lower-level educational ecosystem.
  • At entry-level, university created several noncredit-bearing workforce training programs (Pathway Programs) that allow learners to gain skills that make them immediately employable in the workplace. The entry-level learner can complete a short-term program and receive a noncredit-bearing certificate as a Pharmacy Technician, a Certified Nursing Assistant, a Community Health Worker, and a Community Care Giver. 
  • In 2021, added 2-year Associate of Arts (AA) degree to provide learners not ready for a 4-year bachelor’s degree an option to earn a credential to position them for better earning potential  at  the marketplace. The earned AA places learners on path to completing bachelor’s degree. We’re working on  identifying curricular pathways within AA to position learners for a seamless transition to bachelor program in Business, Health Sciences, and Nursing or even Doctor of Pharmacy degree program, upon completion of  AA or later in their working career. 
  • Develop microcredentials that will identify the specific pathway students undertook while pursuing AA  (e.g., AA with Badge in Health Sciences would signal employers this individual has advanced knowledge in this specific area).  
  • Learn  effective ways  to communicate microcredentials to potential employers and/or other academic  institutions.  
  • Take advantage of information about career/employer skills for credential curriculum alignment. 
  • Connect with peers to learn from experiences gained by other institutions in effective recording, tracking, and providing verification to external entities of microcredentials  at institutional level. 
  • Develop institutional process by which these and other skill-based training programs can be evaluated for college-level credit. Envision granting learners microcredential(s) that would be stackable toward AA. Access to the CAYG inventory of examples of incremental credentials developed by other institutions, as well as access to the inventory of policies on incremental credentialing and accreditation approaches, will be tremendously helpful in aiding our effort in this area. 
  • Explore opportunities to embed industry certifications into traditional degree programs. Many bachelor-level programs are already designed to allow students to pursue a minor in a different academic discipline. Currently working with faculty governance to explore opportunities to allow students in such majors to pursue certification program via national-level educational platforms, such as Coursera, in place of a minor. The messaging and awareness tools developed by CAYG would go a long way in communication with faculty and other university constituencies

Associated Case Studies

Improving Education and Employment Outcomes