Jeff Grann, Credential Engine, and Becky Klein-Collins, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, have collaborated on a four-part blog series exploring competency transparency in our learning and labor market systems, the potential role that postsecondary institutions can play, and the work needed to get there. The following is an excerpt from the fourth article in the series.
In previous blog posts, we have discussed why both employers and individual job seekers and workers could benefit from a competency-based system and the kinds of competency-based tools that could potentially transform our labor and learning marketplaces. A shift toward competencies could, in theory, result in: a greater understanding of occupational requirements and career pathways, credentials that are clear about what competencies a graduate has, and hiring processes that can focus on what a job candidate brings in terms of competencies rather than connections. It is, however, likely that these tools and strategies would need to be carefully constructed and monitored to ensure that all workers and learners benefit equitably.
The postsecondary world is very much involved in the transformation to a competency-based system, such as through the development of competency-based programs (see the resources and models promoted by the Competency Based Education Network) or through pilot projects to test the concept of comprehensive learner records. Yet, we are a long way from all education providers — whether postsecondary institutions, proprietary providers, workforce training providers, or community-based training providers — being able to participate fully in a competency-based learning and earning marketplace.