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

Participant Profile

CREDENTIAL AS YOU GO PARTICIPANT

Unity College

WEBSITE

LOCATION

New Gloucester, Maine

COHORT

2023

Implementation stage & efforts to date Early implementation stage

  • Policy-setting at the state and/or institutional level
  • Pathway efforts for learners 
  • Prior learning assessment developments
  • Integration or restructuring efforts between noncredit and credit units
  • Planning efforts to move into incremental credentialing
  • Participating in efforts to embed industry certification into traditional degree program
  • Working with third party groups or intermediaries
Goals for 

participation 

  • Involvement in CAYG will be a valuable means to advance our strategic vision for alternative credentialing. Our current digital badges are comprised of a mix of for-credit and non-credit opportunities.  We need to design new badge pathways at UC that further delineate how for-credit trajectories are differentiated from the non-credit badges. Participation in this project will further refine definitions and workflows associated with for-credit and non-credit credentials.
  • Other differentiators we intend to build out are our co-branded microcredentials involving  business-to-business partnerships (e.g., “partner as you go”). We are looking to establish more business-to-business partnering opportunities and associated learning pathways. Future efforts at Unity will focus on developing the “partner as you go” and “add on as you go” aspects of the CAYG Framework. 
  • Our tiered badge framework defines 5 badge categories ranging from experiential to mastery. The mastery level badges are earned upon the completion of two or more badge series, however, we have yet to design and offer mastery badges. We need to accelerate our ability to design credentials directly responsive to student and employer needs. Our goal is to rapidly provide new, high quality learning opportunities on the learners’ terms. We expect to learn about strategies and tools to enable us to accelerate ideation, design, development, and implementation of new credentials. Including an emphasis on stacking sequences culminating in Mastery badges. 
  • We are rebuilding the student information system (SIS). Working within the credential as you go framework will inform our vision for capturing alternative credentialing efforts in our information system. We plan to develop and execute a plan for the credential inventory and its relationship with the student information system. 

Associated Case Studies

Improving Education and Employment Outcomes