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

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Technology-Integrated Credential Management

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Pitt Community College

Institutional Examples

Pitt Community College

Pitt Community College has developed multiple certificate programs that are stacked into select degree programs. These credentials enable learners to communicate the skills they are developing to potential employers. This allows them to quickly realize benefits and obtain value from their education, even if they don’t complete their degree program.

 

Credentials Offered

  •  Pitt Community College offers a wide range of credentials spanning five divisions: Arts and Sciences, Business, Construction and Industrial Technology, Health Sciences, and Public Services and Fine Arts. The credentials offered include associate degrees, certificates, diplomas, continuing education courses, and workforce development programs.

Technology Stack

  •  Public website: The college uses WordPress for managing the content on its public website. The marketing department manually manages credential information and is evaluating integration opportunities.
  •  Course catalog: The college uses Acalog by ModernCampus for its course catalog.
  •  Student Information System: DataTel’s Colleague is the college’s main system for handling credential requirements, tracking learner progress, and degree audit evaluations. All credential requirements are entered into Colleague, so that multiple stakeholders can run evaluations to track learner progress and evaluate credits toward graduation.
  •  Admissions: The college uses College Foundation of North Carolina, a statewide admissions system that integrates with the forthcoming Element 451 CRM based on feedback from five other community colleges. Those implementations have helped identify issues and challenges the college may face.
  •  Customer Relationship Management (CRM): The college has used Ellucian’s Recruit for five years, but is planning a switch to Element 451 in the spring of 2023. This project has been allocated four months for development and deployment. Element 451 is expected to support customization of user interfaces, enhanced communications, and data fields needed to scale operations for incremental credential offerings.
  •  Learning Management System: The college uses Moodle as its learning management system.
  •  Transcript: The National Student Clearinghouse issues official transcripts electronically. All completed credentials are mailed as paper certificates and listed on transcripts.

Key Tactics

  •  Automatic enrollment in certificate programs: As part of the application process, learners who choose a degree program with embedded certificates are enrolled in those corresponding certificates. The enrollment team staff manually enroll degree-admitted learners into these certificates when processing applications. To streamline and automate this process, the college would need to coordinate with the College Foundation of North Carolina on institution-specific and degree-specific credential pathways.
  •  Statewide degree transfer articulation agreements: The college captures statewide degree transfer articulation agreements for UNC system schools in Datatel Colleague. This ensures that information is incorporated into the application processes with the corresponding eligibility requirements. In 2022, the 16 UNC schools adopted common academic course codes to help facilitate transfers from community colleges.

External Initiatives

  •  Coordination with other community colleges: Pitt Community College collaborates with multiple community colleges in the state on their implementation and experience with using customer relationship management (CRM) tools.
  •  Credential As You Go: The college monitors and participates with Credential as You Go to help frame its existing credential offerings and develop future offerings.

Lessons Learned

  •  On the Credential As You Go framework: “The Credential As You Go initiative is good because it lets us make sure all of our certificate offerings are what’s needed right now for our learners, especially post-COVID, and we can develop new ones.”
  •  On the value of embedded certificates: “The more credentials you earn, the better your chances of finding employment opportunities.”

More Information

  •  https://pittcc.edu/
  •  Christopher Brian Jones, Assistant Vice President Enrollment Services, Pitt Community College, cbjones0288@my.pittcc.edu
  •  Katherine Clyde, Dean of Business Division, Pitt Community College, kbclyde889@my.pittcc.edu

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