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


Types of Policy

The policy landscape is a crowded, layered, and significant component of the learn-and-work ecosystem. Policy is a broad category that encompasses laws, regulations, procedures, administrative actions, rules, incentives, and voluntary practices of governments and other institutions. Policy decisions are frequently reflected in resource allocations and in accountability processes.

An array of policy bodies may impact the move to an incremental credentialing system in the U.S:

  • Governments – federal and state
  • State Systems of Higher Education, State Coordinating Boards
  • Policy from accrediting organizations
  • Institutional policies including Boards of Regent’s policies and administrative rules
  • Employer program policies
  • Union program policies particularly around apprenticeship programs
  • Community-based program policies such as libraries and local initiatives that support immigrant centers, Goodwill centers and others.

The following focuses on examples of policy that impact incremental credentialing from federal, state, state system of higher education/coordinating boards, and accreditation bodies. Additional information will be added soon on other policy bodies that impact incremental credentialing.



Examples of key federal policy areas related to the learn and work ecosystem include a variety of tools the federal government has to influence the ecosystem, federal financial aid to learners, data collection, and workforce development.

[ninja_tables id=”2655″]



States set policy for their educational systems, and provide policies which impact their workforce and employers. Examples of state policy include Governor-led statewide financial assistance programs for short-term postsecondary courses and programs; legislation actions to support credentialing strategies; higher education system approaches to adopt micro- credential policies; and remedial education policies.

[ninja_tables id=”2657″]


State Systems Of Higher Education / Coordinating Boards

State systems of higher education and coordinating boards play a major role in policy. They typically develop and implement postsecondary policy in alignment with federal and state statute; administer academic, financial aid and workforce programs to include the review and approval of academic programs and research centers; commission and conduct research and analysis and complete data reports; set tuition rates, and administer funding formulas and allocate funds. Governors often play a key role in these entities by appointing their CEOs.
[ninja_tables id=”2658″]



Accreditation plays an important role in the policy world. Higher education in the U.S. relies on accreditation to ensure quality and foster a culture of continuous improvement.
[ninja_tables id=”2659″]



Improving Education and Employment Outcomes