Making the Case

Assessing Readiness to Pursue Incremental Credentialing

The learn-and-work ecosystem is a connected system of formal and informal learning (education and training) and work. The ecosystem is composed of many building blocks. When all the building blocks are working together, individuals are able to move more seamlessly through the marketplace using a variety of credentials to communicate the skills and knowledge acquired in multiple settings (e.g., school, work, service, self-study). Employers have more detailed and externally validated information during their hiring and upskilling processes. Schools are better able to count learning obtained outside of academic settings toward a degree or other credential. And the public is informed about our learn-and-work ecosystem. For the ecosystem to function effectively, all parts of the system must be connected and coordinated. The following readiness checklist, informed by work with states, higher education systems, and credential providers, is designed to help providers, systems of higher education, and states, assess their readiness to engage in incremental credentialing.

  • Policy. The entity has policy in one of three stages: the planning stage, the approval process, or approved and implemented.
  • Vision. The entity has a clear vision to transform its credentialing system.
  • State infrastructure. There is infrastructure at the state, coordinating board, or system level to support the award of incremental credentials at the institutional level.
  • Prototyping higher education institutions. There are higher education institutions ready to develop incremental credentials and pathways.
  • Participating institutions are committed and able to develop incremental credentials.
  • The entity has the capacity to collect data on credentials and learner outcomes, as well as track learner progress through credentialing pathways.
  • Commitment to equity. The entity is committed to increasing equity.
  • Workforce readiness factors to support the entity‚Äôs efforts.

Improving Education and Employment Outcomes

Credential As You Go Video: Transforming the Nation's Credentialing System!