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

Making the Case Playbook

Purpose

Readiness

Credential As You Go is exploring how to transform the nation’s credentialing system to include incremental credentials to build a fairer system that recognizes and formally documents what learners know and can do.  The initiative is establishing an evidence-based scale-up of incremental credentialing to support structural transformation of the U.S. legacy degree system that no longer adequately serves the needs of learners and employers. A range of stakeholders are needed to redesign the U.S. postsecondary system.

 

This readiness checklist will help stakeholder groups, especially governor’s offices, state systems of higher education and credential providers (e.g., colleges, universities, and third-party providers), to assess their readiness to participate in the national Credential As You Go movement.

 

  • Policy. The entity has policy in the planning stage, in the approval process, approved but not implemented yet, or approved and implemented.
  • Vision. The entity has a clear vision to transform its credentialing system, which is closely aligned to the Credential As You Go vision.
  • State infrastructure. There is infrastructure at the state, coordinating board, or system level to establish a Credential As You Go state steering committee.
  • Prototyping higher education institutions. There is a pool of ready higher education institutions within a postsecondary system or state, or within a multi-state network of institutions, from which to identify and select institutions to build incremental credentials and incremental pathways.
  • Participating institutions are committed and able to establish committees on the campuses to spearhead their work. These committees would be composed of a cross-section of stakeholders (administrators, faculty, support services such as Registrar and academic advising, technology staff, continuing education or extended campus representatives, employer outreach and partnership units, etc.
  • Research. The entity is interested and able to participate in the research component of Credential As You Go. The entity would be able to collect data needed by the Credential As You Go research plan and sign a Data Sharing Agreement.
  • Commitment to equity. The entity is committed to increasing equity, in line with the Credential As You Go commitment.
  • History of collaboration. The entity has a demonstrated history of collaborating successfully in state, regional, and/or national education reform initiatives. Credential As You Go’s research has found that there are from 15-25 innovation efforts underway in many states, and additional innovation efforts underway at colleges and universities.
  • Funding: The entity has funds, means of support, or willingness to seek funding to engage in the Credential As You Go movement. Funds can support areas such as technical assistance from external experts, secure dedicated staff to lead this work, resources to sustain the work, partnership development, learner recruitment and supports, and travel funds to participate in professional development activities.
  • Other readiness factors to support entity’s efforts.

Drivers for Change

DRIVERS OF CHANGE TO TRANSFORM THE NATION’S DEGREE-CENTRIC POSTSECONDARY SYSTEM TO AN INCREMENTAL CREDENTIAL SYSTEM

FOUR KEY DRIVERS OF CHANGE

REFERENCES