Non-degree Credentials Research Network (NCRN)

July 17, 2022

The Non-Degree Credentials Research Network (NCRN) is a project funded through a grant from Lumina Foundation and managed by researchers at the George Washington Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP). The NCRN is a multi-disciplinary community of scholars, practitioners and policymakers that focuses on the little-understood role of certificates, certifications and other non-degree credentials in the labor market. If you are interested in joining NCRN please contact Kyle Albert at GWIPP.


The NCRN Project aims to:

  • Create a knowledge-sharing and collaboration-facilitating network of researchers with expertise on the distribution, production, consumption, use and value of non-degree workforce credentials
  • Assess the current state of our knowledge about such credentials, map existing research, and identify needs and opportunities for new research; and
  • Produce an annual synthesis of what is learned, including recommendations for educational and workforce development practice and policy; and
  • Communicate effectively the lessons learned to practitioners and policymakers as well as the broader research community.

Who are we?

We are a network of researchers working on various types of non-degree credentialing including licenses, certifications, apprenticeships, certificates, and micro-credentials. The NCRN includes experts from higher education institutions, research firms, and nonprofit organizations, among others.


2022 Spring Conference Compendium


Click here to download a compendium of session transcripts and summaries from our April 2022 conference, Non-degree Credentials on the Move. The compendium covers each of our six core panels: international developments, skills-based hiring, public policy, higher education, data systems and the Credential As You Go initiative. We sincerely thank all of our panelists for a truly informative and valuable conference!


Other Reports and Resources

map with new directions for non-degree credentials research

New Directions for Non-degree Credentialing Research - Stakeholder Summary

Non-Degree Credentials Literature Scan

NCRN Shared Zotero Library



January NCRN Webinar (1/25/23, 10am EDT): Policy Developments Affecting Non-degree Credentials in Europe

Please join us on Wednesday, January 25 at 10am, Eastern time (please note the special time slot) for a discussion of policy developments related to microcredentials in Europe. Major policy developments over the past year have given European institutions a framework for creating microcredentials and embedding them in existing curricula, in addition to new frameworks for evaluating the quality and value of microcredentials.  We will learn from speakers from Ireland, Finland and Denmark presenting on the European Council of Innovative Universities’ implementation of microcredentials and recent research on microcredentials in the European context, the portability of skills and lifelong learning in Europe, and the measurement of skill demands in Europe. This will be followed by a discussion of potential insights that can be applied to non-degree credentialing policy in the United States and opportunities for comparative and international research on microcredentials. The webinar link has been distributed to the NCRN email list; please contact Kyle Albert if you did not receive an appointment or Zoom link. 


In-Person Events

NCRN Spring Conference

Our spring conference will be held on March 27 and 28 at George Washington University's University Student Center. Once again, the generous support of Lumina Foundation will allow us to offer this two-day event to all interested reserachers and practicioners/stakeholders without a registration fee. Additional details on the agenda and travel/logistics will be avaialble soon

NCRN 2022 Winter Meeting

Representatives of several research organizations met on December 2, 2022 to present updates on key research projects and policy initiatives underway. Slides from selected presentations are available via the links below:

In addition, Andrew Reamer moderated a discussion with Elisabeth Reynolds on credentials and U.S. industrial policy. Slides from Andrew's presentation.

Other Past Events

Please refer to the collapsible menu at the bottom of the "Member Resources" page to view past webinar descriptions and slides.


Member Resources