The Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL) enables the linking of education and career pathways components to depict routes to a destination. The CTDL Pathway terms were initially developed to support use cases where there are fairly simple conditions for progressing through routes in a pathway. Over the last two years, the Credential Engine team has analyzed numerous education and career pathways with our partners and published some pathways to the Credential Registry. 

The analysis of pathways has verified the need for CTDL to support use cases with more complex conditions and constraints. As a result, a draft proposal has been created to seed discussion and development of a robust constraint expression capability for CTDL. The Pathways Constraints Task Group will refine the draft proposal including validating complex use cases for pathway conditions and constraints and extending the domain model and terms.

Join the Pathways Constraints Task Group

Credential Engine follows a clearly defined, open process to make significant updates to develop the CTDL. This process includes subject matter and technical experts forming short-term task groups to provide valuable input (typically 8-12 weeks). You are invited to join our new Pathways Constraints Task Group (PCTG). The work of this task group supports the goals of Credential Engine’s state partners and other agencies and organizations who are working to improve the education and training data ecosystem.

The PCTG will:

    • Define a mechanism for formal constraint expression that is conformant with RDF and Linked Data principles and amenable to machine interpretation and ultimately to constraint enforcement.
    • Identify and document existing, real-world types of constraints in machine-actionable form.
    • Identify real-world use cases for complex pathway route conditions and constraints
    • Provide real data examples for complex pathway conditions and constraints 
    • Provide input to expand the CTDL domain model and create additional CTDL terms where necessary to address complex pathway route conditions and constraints.

Who: The PCTG is for: (1) subject matter experts (SMEs) who define education and career pathway routes and conditions; (2) SMEs in development and application of constraint expressions in machine-actionable form; and (3) entities that utilize data to depict pathways or want to consume data that can be utilized to generate depictions of the pathway.

When and Where: The PCTG will hold its first meeting March, 2022, and approximately six times, every other week for one hour, and conclude in May, 2022. The one-hour meetings will be held via Zoom.

Resources: Credential Engine will create and provide all resources needed for this work, based on PCTG input, and share them for ongoing feedback between meetings. All feedback and materials are transparently available following an open development process.

Outcomes: The final products of this work include the constraint expression mechanism, the use cases, real-world examples as instance data, CTDL domain model and terms with definitions, and usage guidance. The products are all public information made available via the Credential Engine technical site and where appropriate, on GitHub and available under open licenses. All subsequent updates to the CTDL will follow the Significant Update Policy. The policy requires the formation of the Task Group, input by the Credential Engine Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and other advisory group members and stakeholders, and a comment period. This efficient process ensures orderly changes that support and expand the durable, persistent value of CTDL Linked Open Data. Once this process is completed, the CTDL family of specifications will be updated along with the Credential Registry publishing and consuming tools. The Registry and related tools and resources are freely available for stakeholders to publish competencies and skills, competency frameworks, and related data.

Join the PCTG today!

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