Credential As You Go

September 01, 2022

Co-led by Holly Zanville with Dr. Nan Travers from SUNY Empire State College and Larry Good, CEO from the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, Credential As You Go is an initiative calling for a nationally recognized incremental credentialing system to capture and validate uncounted learning that enables individuals to be recognized for what they know and can do. An incremental system recognizes that many types of credentials (e.g., degrees, certificates, industry certifications, licenses, badges, microcredentials) may document an individual's learning; and that credentials are awarded by many types of providers including community and technical colleges, four-year colleges and universities, third-party organizations, employers, military, and state licensing boards. Although incremental credentialing is not new, it is not the design of the U.S. learn-and-work system. There are increasing calls to link the array of credentials of value —degree and non-degree — into an understandable, coherent system. This requires a redesign of credentialing systems across states and higher education institutions to reduce confusion, increase learning recognition, and integrate what people know and can do. Funding for Credential As You Go, which focuses on nine bodies of work (e.g., rapid-prototyping of incremental credentials in Colorado, New York, and North Carolina; research on the feasibility and outcomes of an incremental credentialing system; and national campaign to build awareness around incremental credentialing) comes from a 2021-2024 grant the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences, Transformative Research in the Education Sciences Program. Grant R305T210063. A 2022-2023 grant to support systems change around the expansion and sustainability of Credential As You has been made to CSW, to be co-lead by Zanville, Travers and Good, and managed by CSW's Melissa Goldberg.