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

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Incremental Credentialing

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Questions To Consider

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Incremental Credentialing

Questions To Consider

Questions for Research on Effectiveness of DEI Efforts in Incremental Credentialing

  •  What efforts support the noncredit-to-credit movement?
  •  What disaggregated data is available on noncredit credentials?
  •  What disaggregated data is available on academic outcomes related to incremental credentials?
  •  What disaggregated data is available on wages and employment for those who earn incremental credentials?
  •  What metrics may be used to provide evidence that equity gaps are closing for those who hold incremental credentials?

Questions to Consider When Examining Policy Support at the State Level in Incremental Credentialing

  •  How can initiatives be scaled to help individuals stack credentials and promote equity for historically underserved populations?
  •  How can resources be invested strategically to ensure equitable stackable credential pipelines and identify opportunities for coordination and alignment?
  •  What steps can be taken to ensure that low-income individuals and historically underserved populations have clear information on stackable programs and the value of credentials?
  •  What efforts can be made to support the noncredit-to-credit movement, and how can noncredit data be collected more effectively?

Questions for Instructors of Incremental Credentialing Programs to Consider

  •  Does your program incorporate or adapt learning objectives to include inclusive language?
  •  Does your program explain or address any relevant professional norms or standards in your discipline that are important for students with different backgrounds or levels of experience in the discipline?
  •  Do you create assignments and assessments that vary in format and are inclusive regarding their implementation?
  •  How do you recognize and respect different “ways of knowing” and methods of inquiry across disciplines and cultures?
  •  Do you use objective rubrics that measure component skills that students should demonstrate without rewarding or penalizing the perspective or opinion itself?
  •  Do you strategically replace passive learning (e.g., listening and note taking) with activities that require more active thought and engagement?
  •  Do you empower students to voice and explore their perspectives and opinions on course content?
  •  Do you establish community norms for how students and instructors will interact, especially regarding controversial or difficult topics?
  •  Do you use these guidelines to address non-inclusive behaviors if/when they arise?

Questions to Consider When Promoting Equity in Incremental Credentialing at Colleges and Universities

  •  Does your institution offer programs in areas that historically experience occupational segregation?
  •  Are your incremental credentialing programs eligible for financial aid?
  •  How does your institution learn whether students’ basic needs are met?
  •  Has your institution explored state- or county-level data on basic needs insecurity? Was that data disaggregated by age, race, ethnicity, and parental status?
  •  How is your organization/program working to address barriers that underrepresented populations face in completing an incremental credential?
  •  Is your organization/program regularly using labor market information to inform program offerings?
  •  Has your organization assessed the needs of participants from underrepresented populations?
  •  In your area, what strategies to advance equity are being implemented at the state, local, and institutional levels? How can you engage industry partners to participate in strategies that advance equity?
  •  Consider what level (state, local, institutional, employer) you represent. What actions can you take to advance equity in your current role?
  •  Does the design of your policy, practice, or programs have the resources necessary to sustain equity-related initiatives?
  •  Are employers articulating the skills and competencies they need, and do they drive the design of curriculum and assessments for incremental credentials?
  •  What steps has your program/institution taken to engage employers to recruit and employ students who earn incremental credentials?
  •  Do you promote an equitable workload for your faculty and staff?
  •  What outcome metrics are you using to demonstrate success in your efforts to ensure justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion?
  •  Do orientation and onboarding activities include DEI information, expectations, and resources within the organization?
  •  Have policies been examined to ensure that there are no administrative policies and requirements that exclude minoritized, marginalized, and historically excluded populations?
  •  Are resources budgeted to incremental credentialing programs adequately addressing program needs?
  •  Are you identifying and scaling incremental credentialing pathways that are beneficial to underrepresented student populations?
  •  How do you ensure that low-income individuals and other historically underserved populations have clear information on stackable programs and credential value?
  •  How are you reducing the administrative burden for faculty and staff?
  •  How are you addressing challenges with faculty recruitment?
  •  How are you addressing insufficient access to equipment and instructional resources?
  •  How are you messaging credentials of value with employers?
  •  Are you enhancing informational resources on incremental credentials?
  •  How are you working toward the alignment between noncredit learning and credit coursework?
  •  Are you making candidates aware of articulation opportunities?

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