Create credentials of different lengths than traditional degrees.
Develop field-specific credentials that capture learning acquired in smaller increments.
Develop credentials that capture common learning across disciplines.
Create credentials that capture what a learner has already acquired through coursework or other prior learning.
Create credentials in high attrition areas (e.g., credential STEM courses completed successfully, credential social science and humanity courses).
Create a general education credential (e.g., a microcredential in general education).
Create equivalent credentials (e.g., a two-year credential at a four-year institution equivalent to an associate degree).
Create smaller credentials designed at specific exit points that still stack into larger credentials.
Create a self-designed credential that captures learning already acquired (e.g., degree audit against criteria set for credentials).
Create credentials for specific prior learning areas (e.g., evaluate workplace training and create a credential for that training).
Form a partnership between employers and credentialing organizations that allows experienced workers to receive credit for existing credentials (e.g., employer-recognized credentialing systems in Singapore).
Things to Consider
Develop criteria for different types of credentials, including non-credit and non-degree credentials.
Examine patterns of attrition based on studies completed, and develop academic and workplace credentials to capture learning that is typically acquired at different points along the pathway.
Design a general education credential that can be used to capture learning already acquired.
Use degree audits to capture learning already acquired to meet new credentials.
Why Use This Strategy
Can help learners earn credentials for what they already know and can do.
Credential As You Go has acquired three phases of funding to date. Lumina Foundation funded Phase I, resulting in the Incremental Credential Framework for testing. The Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education funds Phase II (Grant R305T210063), which focuses on rapid prototyping of and research on incremental credentials with a national campaign. An anonymous private donor fund at the Program on Skills, Credentials & Workforce Policy at George Washington University funds the development of the prototype Learn and Work Ecosystem Library. Walmart funds Phase III, which focuses on systems change for expansion and sustainability of incremental credentials. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of Lumina Foundation, Institute of Education Sciences, the U.S. Department of Education, Walmart, or George Washington University.