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

Participant Profile


Louisiana State University (LSU) Online & Continuing Education



Baton Rouge, Louisiana



Implementation stage & efforts to date
  • Design State
  • Have established “pre-evaluated” PLA options, and have partnered with the METC, CCAF, and CDET to offer military students bridge pathways to degrees.
  • Have partnered with Guild and have begun accepting corporate training for some degrees (i.e., Credit for X). 
  • Have begun building out incremental pathways with our Department of Construction Management.
  • Offer CPL and several short-form MicroCreds® that stack into an undergraduate certificate, bachelor’s, post- baccalaureate certificate, and master’s degrees.
Goals for 


  • Expand this work into the financial and healthcare areas first, and then continue to establish pathways  across all disciplines, informed by learner and industry needs. 
  • Establish internal policies and create working groups of faculty and subject-matter experts who can help inform decisions on the viability of the pathways. 
  • Build pathways across the LSU system with multiple on- and off-ramps to meet the unique needs of every learner.
  • Proactively address the needs of the changing demographics from the “traditional” student to those focused on career skills, short-form  credentials, and receiving credit for their knowledge and experiences.
  • Expand access to higher education and help learners find a program or pathway that fulfills their professional needs through full degrees, short-form credentials, or just-in-time training. 

Associated Case Studies

Improving Education and Employment Outcomes