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

Participant Profile


Wake Technical Community College



Public Community College


Research Triangle Park Campus, Morrisville North Carolina



Implementation stage & efforts to date

Full implementation stage:

  • Create and offer 13 workforce/continuing education courses, focused on job roles, that include certifications which can be used for Prior Learning Assessment credit in related IT degree programs. These courses are longer-term (often 4-8 weeks) part-time study rather than short-term bootcamps or courses focused solely on certifications that were sometimes broken up over 2-3 individual courses
  • Create pathways that lead from introductory workforce/continuing education courses into degree programs with opportunities for further study inclusive of additional workforce/continuing education courses and articulations into bachelor’s degrees

Early Stage:

  • Create challenge exams that can be used for Prior Learning Assessment credit, specifically focused on creating opportunities for prospective students from our own workforce/continuing education courses and for students enrolled in local bootcamps/training courses.

Goals for participation

  • Expand Challenge Exam opportunities
  • Track student data, including certification rates and persistence into degree programs
  • Promote opportunities to continue study from workforce/continuing education courses into degree programs

Associated Case Studies

Improving Education and Employment Outcomes