News, Press Releases

Midwestern Higher Education Compact Launches Regional Alliance with Credential Engine

May 10, 2021 (Minneapolis, MN)—With over 100,000 credentials offered in the Midwest and no consistent way to review and compare them, it is important to bring clarity and accessibility to information about the full range of credentials leading to careers. On May 13, the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) and its partner Credential Engine are convening leaders from Midwestern states to launch the Midwest Credential Transparency Alliance (MCTA) to maintain and share accurate information about credentials including diplomas, degrees, licenses, certificates, badges, certifications, and more.

“Our collective vision is an online public repository, where each state can add, search, and compare their current credentials and associated competencies and educational providers,” said Susan Heegaard, president of MHEC. “Too often learners don’t know which credentials lead to desired careers, employers are unable to understand what skills job applicants actually bring to a job, and educators are rushing to keep up with changing requirements in the workplace. In a rapidly changing economy, credential transparency will be an important resource for all.”

“Our collective vision is an online public repository, where each state can add, search, and compare their current credentials and associated competencies and educational providers,” said Susan Heegaard, president of MHEC. “Too often learners don’t know which credentials lead to desired careers, employers are unable to understand what skills job applicants actually bring to a job, and educators are rushing to keep up with changing requirements in the workplace. In a rapidly changing economy, credential transparency will be an important resource for all.”

Credential transparency is an approach to making essential information about credentials and competencies public, easily accessible, and actionable so that credentials can be better understood and pursued based on what it takes to earn them, what they represent, and the jobs they can lead to. This work entails advancing a linked, open-data strategy to consistently describe for the public the key attributes of the nearly 1,000,000 credential offerings in the U.S., such as their associated competencies, quality indicators, costs, transfer value, occupational codes, pathways, outcomes, and more.

“Credential Engine looks forward to expanding its partnership with MHEC to improve credential transparency across the Midwest. By helping the Midwest states come together to map the credential landscape and understand credential data and linkages collectively, we enable states to improve not only their own career-pathway efforts but also enable cross-collaboration between and among state systems,” said Scott Cheney, CEO of Credential Engine.

The goal of the Alliance is to build professional networks across the Midwest, identify key topics for future engagement, and to help states to build and expand on their approach to credential transparency, whether the state is just beginning to explore this topic or is further along in their development. State government officials, secondary and postsecondary credential providers, data managers, and stakeholders in the business community from across the Midwest are expected to attend.

This work in the Midwest is supported by a grant from the Ascendium Foundation. MHEC and Credential Engine invite any interested individuals in the Midwest to participate in the Alliance. Contact Jenny Parks at mcta@mhec.org to learn more.

About MHEC
As an interstate compact, MHEC brings together Midwestern states to develop and support best practices, collaborative efforts, and cost-sharing opportunities. Through these efforts it works to ensure strong, equitable postsecondary educational opportunities and outcomes for all.

Member states of MHEC are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. https://www.mhec.org/

About Credential Engine
Credential Engine is a non-profit whose mission is mapping the credential landscape with clear and consistent information to fuel the creation of resources that make it easy for people to find the pathways that are best for them.

Read the original press release.