Transfer pathways from one credential to the next across institutions or work environments.
Transfer pathways from pre-college, undergraduate, through graduate level – within or across institutions.
Transfer the same-level credential from institution A to institution B for content areas or training not offered by B.
Share trainings across organizations and companies.
Identify expected prior learning as a prerequisite to transfer into an academic or workplace program.
Associate level to bachelor’s level (e.g., a microcredential in business fundamentals goes toward an associate degree and is part of a transfer pathway into a bachelor’s degree; or an incremental credential in general education connects an AOS to a bachelor’s degree).
Bachelor’s level to master’s level (e.g., a certificate in human resources management goes toward a bachelor’s degree and is part of a transfer pathway into a master’s degree).
Transfer agreement between two baccalaureate programs for a specialty area (e.g., a microcredential in museum studies is offered at institution A and is built into an art and history degree at institution B through an articulation agreement).
Partnership agreement to share training across two businesses (e.g., one company provides general training while the other offers specialized training; employees from both companies can take training from either).
Prior experiences are a requirement to enter an academic program or employment training (e.g., prior documented police experience is required for a graduate-level program in criminal justice).
Industry-recognized credentials that transfer across organizations and workplaces (CompTia certifications, HR certifications through SHRM, OSHA certifications, manufacturing certifications, nursing certifications).
Things to Consider
How can academic programs work together across departments, degree levels, or institutions to create transfer pathways incorporating incremental credentials?
What cost savings can be achieved by sharing resources across departments, degree levels, or institutions?
How can different companies and/or organizations work together across departments or training programs to create transfer pathways that incorporate incremental credentials?
How can workforce development and job succession be connected through “transfer-like” agreements?
How can prior learning or prior credentials be built into transfer pathways?
Why Use This Strategy
Supports persistence and completion by developing integrated pathways across the levels of credentials.
Gives learners clear, transparent choices on how to gain credentials needed for work and school.
Enables cost sharing when pathways extend across departments, degree levels, and/or institutions.
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.