Walmart Grant Focused on Systems Change Potential of the “Credential As You Go” Movement

July 26, 2022

Ann Arbor, Mich. — Walmart has awarded a $400,000 grant to Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW) to advance systems change of incremental credentials and expand and sustain Credential As You Go. 

Credential As You Go is a movement designed to inform and facilitate the development and adoption of a nationally recognized incremental credentialing system to improve education and employment outcomes for all learners. Such a system will build on efforts to create greater transparency of credentials across education and industry and integrate industry credentials and prior learning into the degree system. It will also include the development of new student learning records that incorporate learning acquired outside the traditional classroom, developing employer hiring systems based on hiring for skills, and developing a common language and data structures to increase interoperability. 

The initiative will be co-led by a leadership team of Larry Good, CSW’s CEO; Holly Zanville, Co-Director of the Program on Skills, Credentials & Workforce Policy at George Washington University; and Nan Travers, Director of the Center for Leadership in Credentialing Learning at State University of New York Empire State College. Melissa Goldberg, CSW’s Director of Competencies and Credentials, will serve as Project Manager.  

This work will complement efforts underway through a three-year research grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) which supports rapid prototyping of and research on incremental credentials in Colorado, New York and North Carolina. This work is guided by three state leadership teams and the Credential As You Go National Advisory Board of more than 125 members representing government, higher education, business and industry, philanthropy, accreditors, researchers, the data and learning management industry, direct service providers, and organizations representing students and learners.

Walmart’s investment will facilitate these systems change efforts by expanding rapid prototyping of incremental credentials within three states currently engaged in the movement, and across three additional ones. The grant will also be used to develop and disseminate resources and tools that states and institutions can use to implement incremental credentials using the Credential As You Go Framework, and to identify how incremental credentials can fit within Learning and Employment Records systems being developed in states.

Credential As You Go is advancing important educational innovations that will help remove barriers and create a more equitable learn and work ecosystem,” said Shannon Rowan, senior manager, opportunity at Walmart.

“Transforming the U.S. postsecondary credentialing system to ensure that all learners are recognized for what they know and can do is critical to building a fairer system for all learners,” underscored Nan Travers. 

“The grant from Walmart will support needed efforts to scale, sustain and advance new approaches to credentialing across the country, in policy, curriculum, data collection systems, and record-keeping and learning verifications,” noted Holly Zanville. 

“We’re excited to help the Credential As You Go movement expand incremental credentialing, by providing needed building blocks to assist higher education institutions, industry and other credential providers to bundle learning into smaller learning units of value, help stakeholders understand the value of non-degree credentials, use incremental credentialing to increase equity and improve alignment between credentials and changing skill requirements in the workplace,” added Good. 

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About Credential As You Go: Credential As You Go* is calling for a fair nationally recognized incremental credentialing system to capture and validate uncounted learning that enables individuals to be recognized for what they know and can do. 

About Philanthropy at Walmart Walmart.org represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By focusing where the business has unique strengths, Walmart.org works to tackle key social and environmental issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 24 countries, employs more than 2.2 million associates and does business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Walmart.org is helping people live better by supporting programs to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, advance equity, address hunger, build inclusive economic opportunity for people in supply chains, protect and restore nature, reduce waste and emissions, and build strong communities where Walmart operates To learn more, visit www.walmart.org or find us on Twitter @walmartorg.

About Corporation for a Skilled Workforce: CSW catalyzes change in educational and labor market systems and practices to increase economic mobility, particularly for people of color and others historically excluded from success. We focus on achieving scalable improvements in worker skills, lifelong learning, and job quality. CSW collaborates with change-makers to develop strategies, identify evidence to inform strategies, build the capacity of organizations, manage initiatives, and evaluate lessons learned.

*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 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, or Walmart.

Media Contact

Credential As You Go
Lucia Weathers
Lucia@WeathersStrategyGroup.com
317-732-1911

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