The Credential Transparency Initiative (CTI) Collaborative launched today, uniting higher education and industry stakeholders to strategize on a multipronged approach to creating a more coherent and transparent U.S. credentialing system. More than 80 major stakeholder organizations took part in the inaugural meeting at the American Council on Education (ACE) headquarters in Washington, D.C. ACE president Molly Corbett Broad welcomed participants with opening remarks.
“ACE has a longstanding capability to advance credit recommendations for military and workplace courses as a way to help nontraditional students earn college degrees and credentials,” she said. “This expertise has demonstrated that cross sector partnerships are capable of aligning higher education programs to the skills needed to compete in the global economy.”
“Given the demand for talent in today’s economy, ACE is pleased to be working with employer and higher education stakeholders engaged in CTI’s work exploring the newest frontiers of learning, from experiments at colleges to MOOCs to efforts by non-institutional providers. The initiative will help us better document with credentials what individuals know and are able to do after engaging in these learning experiences.”
Funded by Lumina Foundation, the CTI seeks to ease confusion among employers, students, job seekers, and workers about certifications, degrees, certificates, licenses, badges, and other micro-credentials—all of which are often difficult to understand, translate, and differentiate. The CTI is creating a first-of-its- kind credential registry that will allow users to see what various credentials represent in terms of competencies, transfer value, assessment rigor, third-party approval status, and more. The initiative also has several software apps under development, including the Credential Directory App, which will allow registry users to access the websites of participating credential issuers, build customized directories of credentials based on their own criteria, and publish the results.
At the launch event’s plenary session, members of the collaborative provided input on all aspects of the CTI’s strategy and work plan, including the criteria and metrics by which the value and effectiveness of the registry and its apps will be measured at the end of the pilot test.
The plenary was followed by breakout sessions of the collaborative’s committees and subcommittees, building on earlier meetings of nationally-recognized representatives from the higher education, quality assurance, and technical communities.
The credential registry is on target to launch in spring 2016. The CTI project team is working closely with credentialing organizations to make information about their credentials and quality assurance processes available for the pilot test. These pilot-site partners include universities and community colleges that award a variety of credentials – from certificates and AA degrees to BA/BS degrees – as well as organizations outside higher education that award industry certifications, certificates, and credentials, such as licenses and badges.
The CTI is led by a partnership between the George Washington University’s Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP); Workcred, an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI); and Southern Illinois University (SIU) Carbondale’s Center for Workforce Development. Strategic direction of the initiative is provided by an executive committee consisting of the American Council on Education, the American Association of Community Colleges, Business Roundtable, the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board, the Manufacturing Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA).
About the George Washington Institute of Public Policy
The George Washington Institute of Public Policy is a research center at the George Washington University that has special strengths in workforce development, postsecondary education, and labor market analysis.
Formed in 2014 as an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute, Workcred is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen workforce quality by improving the credentialing system, ensuring its ongoing relevance, and preparing employers, workers, educators, and governments to use it effectively.
Southern Illinois University Carbondale is a public doctoral research university serving 17,989 students. SIU’s Center for Workforce Development implements education, leadership and technology advancement initiatives that support the development of a college- and career-ready workforce.
About Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates, and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina’s outcomes-based approach focuses on helping to design and build an accessible, responsive, and accountable higher education system while fostering a national sense of urgency for action to achieve Goal 2025.