Bringing Order to Credentialing

Holly Zanville from Lumina Foundation and Susan Lupo of Corporation for a Skilled Workforce presented together at AACC’s Workforce Development Institute Conference on Inspiring Innovation, this past week in Newport Beach, California.

Several national initiatives are under way to bring some clarity to the concepts of competencies and credentials – and connect them in a meaningful way.

Officials from the American Association of Community Colleges and other organizations described their work at AACC’s Workforce Development Institute.

AACC’S Right Signals initiative is aimed at building a new credentialing model that brings a common language and transparency to the array of existing credentials, such as degrees, certificates, apprenticeships and industry certifications. Twenty community colleges are participating in this effort.

Lumina Foundation, which is funding Right Signals, is building on its efforts to spark a national dialogue on what credentials really mean. That effort led to a prototype for a national registry of credentials called Credential Engine. That initiative, said strategy director Holly Zanville, is based on the foundation’s goal of ensuring 60 percent of Americans have a degree, certificate or other postsecondary credential by 2025.

Because “not everything you learn is in the classroom,” Zanville said, the foundation is working on models for a new “learning passport,” that would capture all student records in an extended transcript, along with a record of what was learned on the job

Dozens of colleges, industry groups that confer certifications and other organizations have joined Credential Engine, a nonprofit organization created to scale up the registry. In September, Credential Engine introduced a prototype search engine app called Workit.

Lumina partnered with the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW) to bring order to the chaotic credentialing marketplace through a tool called the Connecting Credentials Framework. The eight-level framework, currently undergoing beta testing, is a reference tool to build profiles of industry certificates, licenses and other types of credentials, said Susan Lupo, senior policy associate at CSW.

Connecting Credentials aims to produce the process and tools that align a curriculum to job tasks; articulate pathways; create a common language; align programs, courses and assessments; develop instruction; validate credential quality; embed credentials in transcripts; reduce silos; and enhance transparency.

“It allows for a way to think about connections,” Lupo said. It’s all about “the skills human beings need in the workplace,” and it’s based on the concept that “competencies are currency.”

Read the full article here! CREDIT: Ellie Ashford, Community College Daily

Lumina Logo
CSW Logo