New Playbook: Incremental Credentialing in Graduate Education

Participant Profile


SUNY Westchester Community College



Valhalla, New York



Implementation stage & efforts to date Design stage

  • the Faculty Senate at SUNY Westchester approved a Micro- Credential Policy in October 2022 that was approved by the President’s Cabinet shortly thereafter. 
  • As part of REACH, SUNY WCC is engaged in the process of creating, enhancing and/or clarifying educational pathways that are critical for helping students begin and successfully complete credentials, as well as facilitating students’ attainment of meaningful and sustaining careers. 
  • WCC’s Educational Opportunity Center provides tuition-free academic and vocational training, college preparation, and workforce preparation programs and services to adults who meet income and education eligibility guidelines, to help them obtain the skills and credentials they need to pursue higher education and/or to secure career-oriented employment. This includes providing GED and combined GED/college credit pathways. 
  • WCC recently created the Pathways for Adult Learners (PALS) program to consolidate credit and noncredit opportunities to help make the educational journey for adults more clear, convenient and cost-effective. 
  • The College’s Workforce Development and Community Education Division delivers a wide range of offerings for adult learners with a focus  on  short-term, comprehensive, industry-recognized training and certification programs. Training opportunities are aligned with labor market data and the needs of regional employers. 
  • We have an expanded roster of online courses, with currently two short-term certificates attainable 100% remotely. 
  • Our recently-launched White Plains Education and Training Center is located on the bottom floor of a housing project, specifically to serve low income populations. Most of the training opportunities offered there are low cost or free of charge due to a newly- established program of workforce scholarships. 
  • Built a strong campus infrastructure that will allow  our  students seeking incremental credentials to apply, register, and receive formal recognition of microcredential attainment.
Goals for 


  • Track student retention in, and completion of, incremental credentials, along with their transitions into additional incremental credentials or related certificate and/or degree programs. 

Phase One (2022-2023) 

  • Design and approve formal procedures for creating and approving microcredentials at SUNY WCC 
  • Create and approve new, flexible, and market-aligned microcredentials and credential pathways through established governance processes, both at the main campus and at extension centers 
  • Create and approve procedures for recording curricular microcredentials earned by students 
  • Seek approval for new certificate programs (e.g. in I- TECH [game design], CIS [web design & development], and Business [digital marketing]) to facilitate enhanced incremental credentialing pathways for students 
  • Promote microcredentials, using multiple channels and information sessions 

Phase Two (2023-2024) 

  • Enroll students in incremental credentialing programs 
  • Identify, for targeted outreach, students who have stepped away from their education who might benefit from incremental credentials 
  • Monitor progression through credential completion using key leading indicators, and prepare reports 2023- 2024 
  • Phase Three (2024-2026) 
  • Engage in conversations and established share governance processes around policies and procedures on prior learning assessment 

Associated Case Studies

Improving Education and Employment Outcomes